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NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Update on the Niagara River U.S. RAP Niagara River Remedial Action Plan Implementers Session April 10, 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Update on the Niagara River U.S. RAP Niagara River Remedial Action Plan Implementers Session April 10, 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Update on the Niagara River U.S. RAP Niagara River Remedial Action Plan Implementers Session April 10, 2013

2 NYS Department of Environmental Conservation U.S. Niagara River RAP Planning process/addressing sediment Hydrilla Project Updates Overview

3 NYS Department of Environmental Conservation U.S. Niagara River RAP Planning in the U.S. AOC Program Individual AOCs: EPA asked managers to produce detailed action plans by early 2012 –To support measurement of progress –As a basis for distributing future funding Program-wide: Restoring AOCs remains in the top three priorities in allocating GLRI funding

4 NYS Department of Environmental Conservation U.S. Niagara River RAP Targeting AOCs that may have an opportunity to delist sooner than others Sediment contamination is a significant factor in selecting AOCs to target –Is the extent of contamination known? –Is a plan in place for remediation where required? EPA Priority Setting

5 NYS Department of Environmental Conservation U.S. Niagara River RAP Sediment projects completed at 16 locations, over 300,000 cubic yards removed Many projects have addressed potential contamination sources (point sources, hazardous waste sites, etc.) Extent of contamination remaining in sediment is not well defined Status of Niagara River Sediment

6 NYS Department of Environmental Conservation U.S. Niagara River RAP Late 2011 – NYSDEC requests a federal sediment assessment in the River and lower reaches of tributaries Summer 2012 – EPA informs NYSDEC that they have allocated some funding and will begin project Shortly afterwards, EPA informs NYSDEC of need for boundary change Federal Assistance for Sediment

7 NYS Department of Environmental Conservation U.S. Niagara River RAP 1994 Stage 2 RAP –no defined geographical boundary lines for the AOC –describes the tributaries and clearly identifies them as source areas Beginning around 2004, EPA mapped all AOC boundaries Boundaries of the U.S. AOC

8 NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Niagara River Area of Concern (U.S. Section) 2005 EPA Mapping

9 NYS Department of Environmental Conservation U.S. Niagara River RAP Source Area Tributaries Gill Creek Cayuga Creek Bergholtz Creek Little Niagara River Tonawanda Creek Ellicott Creek Two Mile Creek Rattlesnake Creek Scajaquada Creek Lackawanna Ship Canal Smokes Creek

10 NYS Department of Environmental Conservation U.S. Niagara River RAP “the geographic locations within the AOCs where there are beneficial use impairments have been referred to as ‘Impacted Areas,’ and the geographic location or areas within the AOCs that cause or contribute to beneficial use impairments have been referred to as the ‘Source Area.’” “BUI assessments need not be performed in Source Areas.” EPA Guidance for Modifying Boundaries

11 NYS Department of Environmental Conservation U.S. Niagara River RAP The tributary areas will be designated source areas The existing AOC (2005 boundaries) designated the Impact Area of Concern Modifying Boundaries

12 NYS Department of Environmental Conservation U.S. Niagara River RAP Native to Australia, Asia, Africa Forms dense surface mats that can block sunlight and displace native plants Hydrilla Roots in sediment; can grow stems feet long Obstructs boating, swimming and fishing Blocks water intakes Any fragment can become a new plant

13 NYS Department of Environmental Conservation U.S. Niagara River RAP August 2011 – First discovery in New York, Cayuga Lake Inlet in Ithaca September 2012 – First confirmed discovery in Western New York, Erie Canal in North Tonawanda Hydrilla

14 NYS Department of Environmental Conservation U.S. Niagara River RAP Joint survey last Fall by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, NYSDEC and Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources –Documented 13.5 miles of infested waters in the Erie Canal, from North Tonawanda to Lockport –Found no plants in the Niagara River proper Hydrilla Response

15 NYS Department of Environmental Conservation U.S. Niagara River RAP Hydrilla Response Locations of Infestation

16 NYS Department of Environmental Conservation U.S. Niagara River RAP Further investigate extent of infestation Evaluate treatment options Hydrilla Response 2013 Outreach and education has been initiated and will continue through boating season –Recreational boating is the highest risk vector for spreading to other waters

17 NYS Department of Environmental Conservation U.S. Niagara River RAP Motor Island Habitat Improvement Project Restored natural shoreline features while providing protection against wave energy and ice damage - Construction is complete - Planting to be completed this Spring

18 NYS Department of Environmental Conservation U.S. Niagara River RAP Motor Island Habitat Improvement Project

19 NYS Department of Environmental Conservation U.S. Niagara River RAP Shoreline Softening Demonstration Needed

20 NYS Department of Environmental Conservation U.S. Niagara River RAP Assess current loadings from waste sites, point sources, and primary tributaries Update previous studies Goals:  Confirm that point sources are no longer significant  Determine whether waste sites are still a contaminant source  Estimate contaminant loadings from primary tributaries  Support possible further source trackdown and abatement Reassessment of Sources of Contamination

21 NYS Department of Environmental Conservation U.S. Niagara River RAP Reassessment of Sources of Contamination

22 NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Contact Information Mark Filipski Niagara River AOC Coordinator NYSDEC 270 Michigan Avenue Buffalo, New York


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