The state Department of Environmental Conservation is currently removing contaminated sediment from Lake Flower in Saranac Lake.
The sediment is located in Pontiac Bay and is contaminated with coal tar, coke, and ash from a gas plant in the village. Other pollutants include volatile organic compounds such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes.
Starting in the late 1800s, the Saranac Lake Gas Company used a coal-gasification process to manufacture gas for lighting. The site of the plant on Payeville Road is also contaminated. It is a now vacant lot. The plant also contaminated Brandy Brook, which carried pollutants to Pontiac Bay on Lake Flower.
Pontiac Bay is on the state’s list of Superfund sites. Click here to find out more on DEC’s website.