Liverpool, New York

In 1947, General Electric - a Lockheed Martin heritage company - opened its doors at Electronics Park in Liverpool, N.Y., a suburb of Syracuse. The facility became part of Martin Marietta in 1993, and part of Lockheed Martin in 1995 after Martin Marietta and Lockheed merged to form Lockheed Martin Corporation. In the mid-1990s, during an environmental investigation of tributaries that flow into Onondaga Lake, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) detected elevated cadmium levels in sediment in the West Branch of Bloody Brook, which flows under Electronics Park and discharges into the lake.

NYSDEC found elevated levels of cadmium, a metal formerly used in plating lines at the facility, in the brook’s sediment but not in surface water, indicating that a release had taken place many years before. Following state testing, Lockheed Martin began voluntary environmental investigations in 1996. In 1997, after identifying the locations with the highest levels of cadmium, Lockheed Martin removed 325 tons of sediment from a 750-foot stretch of the West Branch of the brook closest to the facility.

Between 2001 and 2007, Lockheed Martin collected more than 1,000 soil samples further downstream and found elevated levels of cadmium at depths ranging to 15 feet. The New York State Department of Health reviewed the results of the sediment and soil sampling and did not identify any immediate human health concerns. However, the Onondaga County Health Department issued an advisory for residents to avoid contact with the brook. Lockheed Martin entered into a Voluntary Cleanup Agreement with NYSDEC in 2002.

After the investigations, Lockheed Martin created a Remedial Action Work Plan (RAWP) that it submitted to NYSDEC in March 2005. NYSDEC proposed increasing the scope of the plan, which Lockheed Martin completed in September 2009. The RAWP called for excavating sediment and soil from the brook channel, side banks and properties (wooded, residential and municipal areas) adjacent to the West Branch of Bloody Brook.

In addition, at the request of Onondaga County, Lockheed Martin was involved in removing sediment from culverts along the West Branch of the brook in 2008 and assisted with soil removal from properties included in a stormwater drainage improvement project in 2009. Under Lockheed Martin’s Interim Remedial Measure (IRM) Work Plan, which NYSDEC approved in April 2008, Lockheed Martin removed sediment from four sets of culverts.

Since the 2009 RAWP submittal, Lockheed Martin and NYSDEC determined that additional soil samples needed to be collected from properties located near the current West Branch of the brook and the former brook channel to further refine the RAWP and to define the boundaries of the areas where soil removal has been proposed. Lockheed Martin submitted a sampling work plan to the NYSDEC in February 2011, and it was approved in March 2011. As outlined in that sampling work plan, more than 700 additional soil samples were collected in 2011.

In 2014, Lockheed Martin initiated remediation activities in the most upstream portion of the site (the wooded area near the NYS Thruway).  During March 2014, trees within the work area were cut down per the direction of the NYSDEC.  Mobilization and site preparation began in June 2014.  During July 2014, soil excavation and bypass pumping of the West Branch of Bloody Brook began at the site.  Continuous air monitoring is conducted for dust to ensure the New York State regulations are not exceeded.  If at any time a dust monitor indicates an exceedance, work would be stopped immediately and not continued until measures have been taken to correct the issue.

Excavation of contaminated soil continued throughout the summer and fall, and restoration activities were initiated in the upstream portion of the site. Approximately 624 truckloads (approximately 13,000 tons or 9,000 cubic yards) of soil and brook sediment have been excavated from this area in 2014.  Removal of the dry brook sediment, as well as portions of the side banks, was completed in October, and the brook bottom and side banks have been restored. In addition, three new wetland/pond areas have been created to allow for additional brook capacity (i.e., flood control) during high flow conditions as well as habitat for local wildlife. Planting of trees and shrubs to restore the work area has also taken place.

Weather permitting, Lockheed Martin will continue soil removal and restoration activities at the site throughout December and January.  Once the snow and colder temperatures set in, we will stop these activities for the remainder of the winter months and start up again when the weather allows in the spring (April/May 2015); however, some level of activity will continue at the site over the winter (e.g., surveying, tree removal and fence and access road installation).  

Look for more information as the project continues in 2015 in the “Bloody Brook Voluntary Cleanup Newsletters” posted on this website as well outside the access points to the Bloody Brook remediation site.