New York Field Office
Northeast Region

Genessee River Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration

Background

In 2014, a Natural Resource Damage settlement was reached with the natural resource trustees, USFWS and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), and Kodak for the contamination and injury of the Genesee River. Kodak is an imaging, photographic equipment, materials, and service company headquartered in Rochester, New York. The Trustees evaluated impacts to natural resources as a result of contamination of the Genesee River from the Kings Landing Water Treatment Plant to the river mouth. Silver is the most frequently detected target contaminant that is attributable to Kodak. In addition, other metals and inorganics that may be attributable to Kodak include arsenic, antimony, barium, cadmium, copper, lead, mercury, zinc, and cyanide. Information and documents concerning the final settlement are available below.

The Trustees are required to use settlement funds to compensate for those injuries by restoring natural resources, the services provided by the injured resources, and any supporting habitats. The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) requires that before settlement monies can be used for such activities, the Trustees must develop and adopt a Restoration Plan, and that in doing so, there be adequate public notice and opportunity for hearing and consideration of all public comment. Accordingly, the Trustees will publish and distribute a Draft Restoration Plan and seek public comment. Preparation of the Draft Restoration Plan is ongoing and the Trustees are seeking public input on restoration project ideas for the Genesee River.

Currently there is no closing date for restoration project suggestions. Restoration project suggestions will be accepted until all settlement funds, approximately $4.3 million, have been allocated. It is anticipated that the Draft Restoration Plan will be prepared by Fall 2015 and will go out for public comment. Upon completion of the public comment period, the public comments will be considered and a response to public comments will be incorporated into the final Restoration Plan. Once the final Restoration Plan has been prepared, the Trustees will solicit requests for restoration project proposals and after project selection, implementation will commence.

Recent News and Publications

July 19, 2016: Notice of Availability for Public Comment, Draft Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment for Genesee River Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and New York State, collectively the Trustees, announce the availability of the Draft Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment for the Genesee River, and Genesee River Watershed, New York (Draft Restoration Plan) for public review and comment. In 2014, the Trustees resolved a natural resource damage claim with the Eastman Kodak Company for the Genesee River located in the City of Rochester, Monroe County, New York. The Draft Restoration Plan outlines the restoration project categories that have been selected to address injuries to and lost use of natural resources. Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration settlement funds will be used for projects that restore, rehabilitate, or conserve aquatic habitats and recreational uses in the Genesee River and Watershed, New York. The closing date for public comment is September 30, 2016.  

The Draft Plan can be found at: http://www.fws.gov/northeast/nyfo/ec/files/Genesee_River_DRAFT_Restoration_Plan.pdf (10MB pdf)

More information about the Settlement can be found at: http://www.fws.gov/northeast/nyfo/ec/GeneseeRiver.htm
Send Draft Plan comments to: Amy Roe, Environmental Quality Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, New York Field Office, 3817 Luker Road, Cortland, New York 13045 or by email: Amy_Roe@fws.gov

June 17, 2015: The Department of the Interior and New York State announce the availability of Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration settlement funds for projects that restore, rehabilitate, or conserve aquatic habitats in the Genesee River, New York. We are in the process of identifying potential restoration projects to address injuries to and lost use of natural resources. We invite you to submit suggestions for restoration projects, please see our Restoration Suggestion Form (pdf).

Restoration Form Submission Instructions:
The form can be submitted hard copy by mail or electronically by email.  If you do not have access to Adobe Pro, and cannot save the completed form as a pdf, below are a few options to consider for electronic submission: save the completed form as a text file (under the "save as" option) or print a hard copy and scan the document into a pdf or a picture file (jpeg, gif, tiff, bmp, png).  Alternatively, take pictures of the completed hard copy forms.

NYSDEC Kodak/Genesee River remedial website

Federal Settlement Agreement (pdf)

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Last updated: July 19, 2016
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