WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Department of Justice announced Dec. 20 it has joined with the New York State Office of the Attorney General (NYSOAG) and the Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) to settle with Honeywell International Inc. (Honeywell) and Onondaga County over allegations of contaminating Onondaga Lake.
“This settlement will help restore the precious natural resources of the Onondaga Lake watershed, bringing lasting benefits for future generations of central New Yorkers to enjoy,” said acting assistant attorney general Jeff Wood for the Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources Division. “This joint action with the Department of Interior and the state of New York is yet another testament to the value and effectiveness of cooperative federalism. I am grateful to all of our partners for the efforts that brought us this resolution.”
Honeywell and Onondaga County owned and operated facilities at Onondaga Lake in Syracuse, New York. The facilities allegedly leaked hazardous substances such as mercury into the lake, as well as portions of the lake’s tributaries and nearby wetlands and uplands. Honeywell will pay more than $6 million for restoration programs, and both defendants will operate restoration projects in the area. The total value of the settlement is $26 million.
“With this proposed settlement, the communities of Onondaga Lake are one step closer to reclaiming this resource for the people and wildlife that live here,” said New York field supervisor David Stilwell for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.