Onondaga Lake Superfund (NPL) Sites - Site Descriptions - Ley Creek PCB Dredging sub-site

Ley Creek (PCB) Dredgings

A sub-site of the Onondaga Lake Superfund Site  

New 2010 Fact Sheet


Five-year Review Report - Ley Creek PCB Dredging Subsite - January 2007

Fact Sheet No. 5


Ley Creek flows through a highly urbanized and commercial area in the Town of Salina, just north of the city of Syracuse, NY. Many industrial wastes, including oils containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were discharged into Ley Creek and its branches. One known source is the former General Motors Inland-Fisher Guide plant located just south of the site at Townline Rd and Factory Ave. A portion f the creek was dredged in the 1970s for the purposes of flood control. These dredged sediments were placed along the southern banks of the creek. The 4,300 foot-long area where PCB contaminated dredge spoils from the creek have been placed is known as the Ley Creek Dredgings Site. The site is bounded by Factory Avenue on the south, Ley Creek to the north, Townline Road to the east, and the Town of Salina Highway garage to the west.

Figure 2. Photo, looking west, showing Ley Creek. The dredgings are under the grass covered mound on the left (south) side of the creek.

Aerial view of site perimeter - 2.5 miles from Onondaga Lake

Aerial view outlining dredging area South of Ley Creek

Environmental Issues

PCBs had been found in the dredge spoils at concentrations up to 466 ppm at the site. PCBs have also been found in groundwater in this area at levels up to 10 ppb. The source of the PCB contamination in the Ley Creek dredge spoils has been attributed to historic discharges from the Fisher Guide Division of General Motors along Factory Avenue.. Ley Creek banks, where dredged material contaminated with PCBs had been placed, have been remediated; eliminating the potential for direct contact exposure. However, PCBs remain in some of the sediments in the Creek. These contaminated sediments are being addressed as part of the GM IFG Plant site clean-up (see Fact Sheet #_). The general area is served by a public water supply so public exposure to contaminated groundwater is unlikely. However, PCBs are highly bioaccumulative, meaning they build up in the flesh of birds, fish and other animals. PCBs that migrate into Ley Creek will contaminate fish and birds (or people) that eat them.

What's being done to address the problem?

High concentrations of PCBs in the dredge spoils required that the site be remediated. Remediation was completed in 1999-2000 as follows:

Since the remedy left PCB contamination (up to 50 ppm) remaining at the site, a long term monitoring program has been instituted. Groundwater impacts will be addressed as part of the remedy for the upgradient General Motors -IFG site. This site is no longer considered a significant threat to human health and the environment.

Remediation Timeline

1993: General Motors agreed to perform a Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS) under a Consent Order. The RI/FS Report for this site was approved by NYSDEC in August 1993.

1997: The FS Report was approved in January 1997. A Record of Decision (ROD) was signed on March 10, 1997. Remediation and Liability Management Company, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of General Motors, conducted the remedial design/remedial action for the site under a Consent Order.

1999-2000: The Remedial Design was approved by NYSDEC in June 1999. Implementation of the Remedial Design commenced in October 1999. Remedial Construction proceeded through 1999 with substantial completion of the project in November 2000.

2001: Final completion of Remedial Construction occurred in 2001.

2006: A 5 year review was issued by the USEPA in December 2006.
This site is currently in the operation and maintenance phase.

Partial List of site Contaminants

CAS # Contaminant Name Contaminated
More Information

Ley creek

Photo, looking west, showing Ley Creek.
The dredgings are under the grass covered mound on the left (south) side of the creek.

site drainage into Ley Creek
Drainage into Ley Creek
Monitoring well at site

Monitoring well at Ley Creek

Contacts for more information and comments
Susan Edwards, Project Manager                   Phone: 518-402-9676
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
625 Broadway, 12th floor, Albany, NY 12233-7016
Hours: M - Fri, 8:30 a.m. - 4:45 p.m. Please call for an appointment

Documents for this site are available for public inspection at:
Atlantic States Legal Foundation Depository Library
658 West Onondaga Street, Syracuse NY 13204-3711                                                                               Phone: 315-475-1170

Onondaga County Public Library
Central Branch at the Galleries
447 South Salina Street, Syracuse, NY 13202                                                                            Phone: (315) 435-1800
Hours: M, Th, Fri, Sat, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.; Tu, W, 9:00 a.m. - 8:30 p.m.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-7016                                                                                              Phone: (518) 402-9676
Hours: M - Fri, 8:30 a.m. - 4:45 p.m. Please call for an appointment

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Region 7
615 Erie Blvd. West, Syracuse, NY 13204-2400                                                                                     Phone: (315) 426-7400
Hours: M - Fri, 8:30 a.m. - 4:45 p.m. Please call for an appointment

This Fact Sheet was funded through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Technical Assistance Grant program.