DEC to address gas plant remediation

GLOVERSVILLE — The state Department of Environmental Conservation will hold a public meeting on Feb. 21 at City Hall at 6 p.m. on a proposed $18.2 million remediation plan to address contamination at the former Niagara Mohawk manufactured gas plant located at 20 Hill St.

The site of the former gas plant was designated by the DEC for the State Superfund Program that identifies suspected inactive hazardous waste disposal sites. Sites posing a threat to public health or the environment go through a process of investigation, evaluation, cleanup and monitoring.

When the parties responsible for site contamination are known, they typically pay for and perform the investigation, evaluation of options and cleanup of sites following approval from the DEC and state Department of Health.

The DEC developed the proposed remediation plan for 20 Hill St. after reviewing the investigation of the site and evaluating the remedial options included in a feasibility study submitted by National Grid, according to a fact sheet provided by the DEC announcing the project proposal and public meeting.

The former Niagara Mohawk manufactured gas plant is approximately 13 acres, with eight acres currently occupied by the National Grid Service Center.

The site is bordered to the north by Hill Street, to the east by South Boulevard, to the south by a vacant wooded area and to the west by the Rail Trail and Cayadutta Creek.

According to the DEC, coal tar and sheen, formed during the gas manufacturing process, was found in subsurface soil and groundwater on-site and at an isolated location off-site along the western bank of the Cayadutta Creek downstream from the plant.

Investigation also found coal tar in the sediment and bank soils in the Cayadutta Creek in the area of a stormwater outfall and downstream.

“MPG-related constituents were found to exceed their respective standard, criteria and guidance values in the groundwater, soil and sediment samples,” the DEC states, while also noting that “MGP impacts are predominantly confined to a sand and gravel layer approximately 15 feet below the ground surface.”

The DEC in consultation with the DOH is proposing site remediation to include excavating and disposing of approximately 21,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil from the former plant grounds and approximately 300 cubic yards of sediment and bank soil from the Cayadutta Creek and restoration of the remediated creek bed and bank areas.

Additional proposals include construction of a subsurface barrier to prevent further off-site migration of coal tar, installation of recovery wells to remove potentially mobile coal tar and continued collection and treatment of on-site groundwater and stormwater.

The DEC will provide information on the proposed remediation for the former Niagara Mohawk manufactured gas plant at 20 Hill St. during the Feb. 21 public meeting at City Hall at 6 p.m. and will accept public comment on the project during the meeting.

A 30-day written comment period on the proposal is now open through March 1. Comments can be directed to DEC Division of Environmental Remediation Project Manager Parag Amin by email at [email protected], by phone at (518) 402-9662 or by mail at 625 Broadway, Albany, N.Y. 12233-7014.

The DEC fact sheet on the proposed project can be viewed online at dec.ny.gov/data/der/factsheet/518021cuprop.pdf and project documents are available for public viewing at the Gloversville Public Library.

By Josh Bovee

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