John McAuliffe, Honeywell Syracuse Program Director, has been recognized as the 2015 Outstanding Civil Engineer by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Syracuse Section. The award “recognizes outstanding civil engineering leaders whose lifetime accomplishments and achievements have made significant differences.” McAuliffe, a lifelong resident of Central New York, has more than three decades of experience in environmental engineering, environmental remediation, and construction.
McAuliffe is responsible for overseeing one of the largest private-sector cleanups in the United States, the remediation of Onondaga Lake and upland sites, in Syracuse, New York. Over the past 12 years, he has led a national and local team of more than 500 engineers, scientists, and skilled craft laborers through investigation and design, complex negotiations with federal and state regulators, and extensive public engagement. Allied Chemical operated along the lake’s shoreline from the late 1800s until 1986. Industrial and municipal sewage contaminated the lake, which now has the best water quality in decades as a result of cleanups by Honeywell and Onondaga County.
McAuliffe’s passion for finding innovative and sustainable solutions that benefit the environment and community has been a driving force in the partnerships he helped create with local institutions such as State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse University, and Upstate Freshwater Institute. Those partnerships developed innovative technologies built on sound science, which are resulting in successful remediation and restoration of habitat in the lake, along its shoreline, and in adjacent wetlands. The dredging of the lake was finished in November 2014, a year ahead of schedule. Capping and habitat improvements are scheduled to be completed in 2016.
The health and safety of workers and the community are top priorities for McAuliffe. In 2014, the Onondaga Lake cleanup team was awarded the Western Dredging Association’s (WEDA) Annual Safety Award for its outstanding safety record. WEDA cited a culture of safety and an enviable safety record.