Many of Con Edison of New York’s current remediation sites were formerly the location of manufactured gas plants (MGP), where the company made and distributed manufactured combustible gas. From the early 1800s to the mid 1900s, the company, like many other utilities of its time, manufactured gas in such plants and distributed it in parts of New York City and in Westchester County. At the time, this gas provided many benefits to the community, heating homes and businesses, and lighting the city’s streetlamps. However, some of the byproducts of this production may be harmful to human health and the environment.
Today, we are evaluating and monitoring potential and actual risks of exposure to contaminants from these facilities, and we are taking steps to ensure that these risks are minimized. We are working with our regulators to remove these contaminants from the environment or to treat or contain the contaminants so as to minimize potential migration and exposures. Testing, design and/or remediation are already underway at 20 former MGP sites. During 2012, Orange and Rockland spent approximately $4 million for its MGP program, and Con Edison of New York spent approximately $14 million.
Con Edison of New York recently completed a remediation at the former East 99th Street Works in conjunction with MTA’s Second Avenue Subway construction project. The proximity of this project to high rise residential properties and Metropolitan Hospital presented challenges to remove approximately 6,000 tons of contaminated soils safely. Working closely with the Community Advisory Board and Metropolitan Hospital Management, a plan was developed to remove and dispose of historic contamination from under Second Avenue without impacting local residents or hospital operations. Sustainability strategies used in this project to minimize the impact included carbon filtration to clean air venting from the underground excavation and thermal treatment for contaminated soils, which could ultimately be reused as daily cover in a landfill. For more information about this and other MGP sites, click here.