Lakes chemical hot spots go Online
By Corydon Ireland
Democrat and Chronicle
As of today, Web users will be able to dial up a comprehensive
look at 43 chemical hot spots that dot the Great Lakes
basin. (See link below.)
The International Joint Commission, a U.S.-Canadian Great
Lakes advisory group, this morning released its first
status report in 10 years on these so-called areas of
concern, which are marked by extensive contaminated chemical
sediments that may date back 90 years.
Included in the report is what the IJC calls a matrix
of information on cleanup progress since 1987, when the
areas -- six of them in New York -- were first identified.
And the group says that talks are under way to make the
matrix a living document that is updated by U.S. and Canadian
environmental authorities twice a year.
There is one official area of concern in the Rochester
region -- the Rochester Embayment, which is composed of
the northernmost six miles of the Genesee River and a
linked portion of Lake Ontario measuring 35 square miles.
Information regarding progress on cleaning up the Embayment
is very sketchy, or non-existent, on the IJC’s Matrix.
The database tabulates changes to infrastructure, ongoing
remediation projects, planned actions and other measures.
The lack of information -- not confined to the Rochester
area of concern -- points to one of the IJC’s primary
recommendations, which called on U.S. and Canadian authorities
to appoint information coordinators for each area of concern.