& ONONDAGA LAKE: A TIMELINE
1881 — The Solvay Process Company was incorporated. The company’s
main product was soda ash, a substance used to make glass, chemicals,
detergents, and paper.
1883 — The Solvay Process Company obtained
permission to drill for salt springs at the shore of Onondaga Lake.
1884 — Soda
ash production commenced at about 20 tons per day. Much of the Solvay
waste material was dumped directly into Onondaga Lake. Over the years,
wastebeds were built in wetlands along the southwest perimeter of the
1888 — A caustic soda operation was added (possibly the
first mercury cell began discharging mercury into Onondaga Lake). Over
the next 10 years, caustic soda and soda ash production reaches 500 tons/day.
1907 — The
New York State Attorney General threatened the Solvay Process Company
with legal action over the direct discharge of Solvay waste material
into Onondaga Lake.
1918 — Solvay Process Company begins producing
1920 — Five chemical companies (including Solvay
Process Company) consolidated and formed Allied Chemical and Dye Corporation.
1950 — Chlorine
production by mercury cell began. Mercury was discharged directly to
1958 — Allied Chemical and Dye Corporation changed
its name to the Allied Chemical Corporation.
1970 — A fishing ban
was imposed on Onondaga Lake due to mercury contamination. The US Attorney
General sued Allied Chemical in order to halt the dumping of an estimated
25 pounds of mercury per day.
1981 — Allied Chemical changed its name to the Allied
1985 — Allied Corporation merges with the Signal companies
and becomes Allied-Signal Inc. The company announces plans to close local
operations known as the Syracuse Works.
1986 — The Syracuse Works ceased production. Allied-Signal
Inc. began to dismantle the facility.
1989 — New York State filed
a lawsuit against Allied-Signal Inc. for past and continuing contamination
of Onondaga Lake.
1990 — An undisclosed source of mercury was discovered
discharging into Nine Mile Creek (an Onondaga Lake tributary that flows
past Allied-Signal factory sites).
1992 — New York State and Allied-Signal
Inc. signed an interim Consent Decree detailing the elements of a Remedial
Investigation and Feasibility Study of the lake to be conducted by Allied-Signal.
1994 — Onondaga
Lake-bottom and subsites (such as the waste beds) were added to the Superfund
National Priorities List.
1999 — AlliedSignal and Honeywell Inc.
merged and became Honeywell Inc.
2005 — Honeywell Inc.
agreed to a partial cleanup of Onondaga Lake.
2006 — A Consent Decree
was signed between NY and Honeywell Inc. making the plans for the partial