St. Lawrence River Area of Concern at Massena/Akwesasne
The St. Lawrence River at Massena was designated as an Area of Concern under the 1987 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. Funding from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative's is used to remediate and restore this AOC for removal from the binational list of AOCs.
The St. Lawrence River at Massena begins above the power dam facilities and seaway locks at the Massena Village drinking water intake. It follows the river downstream for about fifteen miles to the international border. It also includes portions of the Grasse, Raquette and St. Regis Rivers in New York State. The United States, Canada and the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe at Akwesasne share authority for the AOC.
Sources of Pollution
- historical industrial discharges
- municipal treatment facilities
- atmospheric deposition
- atmospheric depositionThe process by which airborne pollutants settle onto land or water. "Wet deposition" refers to pollutants that fall to the earth while attached to raindrops or snowflakes. "Dry deposition" refers to pollutants that fall to the earth without precipinon-point source discharges
- atmospheric depositionThe process by which airborne pollutants settle onto land or water. "Wet deposition" refers to pollutants that fall to the earth while attached to raindrops or snowflakes. "Dry deposition" refers to pollutants that fall to the earth without ppower dam and seaway construction
- high levels of PCBs
- Mercury, DDE, Mirex, nutrients and metals are also the cause for much of the pollution
Beneficial Use Impairments
An interim success of remediation and restoration work is removing beneficial use impairments. BUIs are designations given by the International Joint Commission representing different types of significant environmental degradation. As cleanup work is completed, and monitoring demonstrates sufficient environmental health improvements, BUIs can be removed. The list below shows which BUIs have been removed, and which remain. Once all BUIs are removed, the process of delisting the AOC can begin.
- Restrictions on fish and wildlife consumption
- Loss of fish and wildlife habitat
- Degradation of fish and wildlife populations (likely impaired)
- Fish tumors or other deformities (likely impaired)
- Bird or animal deformities or reproduction problems (likely impaired)
- Degradation of benthos (likely impaired)
- Degradation of phytoplankton and zooplankton populations (likely impaired) – REMOVED 2015
- General information about BUIs: Beneficial Use Impairments for the Great Lakes AOCs
The following links exit the site ExIT
Massena Remedial Advisory Committee