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Great Lakes AOCs

Oswego River AOC - Delisted

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Amy Pelka


The Oswego River/Harbor Area of Concern was was named an Area of Concern on the Great Lakes under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement of 1987.  Learn more about what happens after delisting.

AOC Boundaries

The Oswego River/Harbor Area of Concern is located on the southeast shore of Lake Ontario and centered in the City of Oswego, New York. 

Sources of Pollution

The area was highly degraded because of hazardous waste sites, municipal sewage discharges, combined sewer overflows, and runoff from streets and agriculture. Some of those degradations were:
  • Restriction on consumption of fish
  • Eutrophication or harmful algal blooms
  • Decline of fish populations
The AOC consisted of the harbor area and the lower segment of the Oswego River up to the Varick power dam. Contaminants found in AOC included:
  • PCBs
  • Dioxin
  • Cyanide
  • Grease
  • Oil
  • Mirex
  • Excessive levels of phosphorus.

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Beneficial Use Impairments

More information:

General information about BUIs: Beneficial Use Impairments for the Great Lakes AOCs

  • Restrictions on fish and wildlife consumption - REMOVED 2006
  • Degradation of fish and wildlife populations - REMOVED 2006
  • Loss of fish and wildlife habitat - REMOVED 2006
  • Eutrophication or undesirable algae - REMOVED 2006

Oswego River was delisted in 2006.

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Remediation and Restoration Work

EPA has continually worked with federal, state and local partners to execute remediation and restoration work in the area with the ultimate goal of removing the AOC designation and revitalizing the surrounding communities.

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