There are mudboils — releases for groundwater pressure that dump one to one-half ton of silt into Onondaga Creek and Onondaga Lake daily. And a watershed divide between two major watershed drainage basins crosses the valley along with pristine trout streams that feed Onondaga Creek and lake.
Cranesville Block (Clark Concrete)
Established in 1938, Clark Concrete was a local company that produced concrete and aggregate for municipalities, NYS DOT and other contractors . In Fall, 2005 Cranesville Block bought Clark Concrete and has thereby accepted Clark Concrete’s legal liabilities.
Valley Realty was formed as a wholly owned subsidiary of Clark Concrete. Valley Realty was issued a mining permit in 1996 to excavate sand and gravel on approximately 24 acres during the initial permit term of a 138 acre mining facility at the headwaters of Onondaga Creek in the Tully Valley in Central New York. The permit was issued after more than seven years of efforts by Clark Concrete to overcome public opposition to the mining.
Mudslides have always been a concern for the mine. In 1993 (prior to the building of the mine) there was a large mudslide four miles north of the site.
Despite the obvious geologic instability, the mine was built and in 2002 workers dredging a sediment pond at the site dug too deep, causing water to leak from the pond through a gravel vein and down the north side of the moraine. This event caused serious bank and bed damage to the stream, destroying trout fry and juveniles, disturbing trout rearing areas, and causing sediment deposition and turbidity in Onondaga Creek.
The area of the mine was historically used for hunting and fishing by the Onondaga Nation, and is of particular archeological significance. Despite the location of known Onondaga settlements and camps in the mining area, no meaningful investigation has been conducted to identify cultural and historic artifacts, or to determine whether grave sites or remains might be located therein. Mine operators and regulators continue to avoid consultation with the Onondaga Nation about these archeological issues.