Schenectady County

Utility to clean oil-contaminated Metroplex lot in Schenectady

National Grid will spend at least $1 million to remove petroleum-contaminated soil from a Broadway p

National Grid will spend at least $1 million to remove petroleum-contaminated soil from a Broadway parking lot owned by the Metroplex Development Authority.

The international electricity and gas company is voluntarily undertaking the work, part of an agreement with the state Department of Environmental Conservation, according to Robert D. Teetz, National Grid vice president of environmental services.

The company is currently bidding out the Broadway project and has no firm fix on actual costs of the cleanup work, but expects to spend at least $1 million to remove contaminated soil, said Patrick Stella, National Grid spokesman.

The site contains mainly coal tar, a byproduct from a former facility that manufactured gas from coal to light homes.

The facility operated across the street from the parking lot at 312 Broadway between 1866 and 1914, said Metroplex Chairman Ray Gillen.

The parking lot is a so-called “legacy site,” a location that once housed or was used by a former gas production facility. National Grid is cleaning up legacy sites across the state, Teetz said. “We are carefully addressing the sites, including Broadway in Schenectady, in strict accordance with New York State Department of Environmental Conservation directives. We have an excellent track record of addressing these sites in a safe, cost-effective and community-sensitive manner which ultimately improves the environment in the communities in which they exist,” he said.

National Grid and its contractor will excavate soil with traces of the former gas byproduct and replace it with clean soil. “It is another big brownfield site in the county getting cleaned up. The work will begin next spring and take three months,” Gillen said.

The lot is used by Proctors for events and by monthly parking permit users. It is next to the Broadway Parking Garage, which will remain open during the remediation work.

Once the excavation and fill work is completed, Metroplex will repave and improve the lot with new fencing, lighting, security cameras and landscaping, Gillen said. “That is one of our biggest lots and it is one of our most important lots,” he said. “They will give us a site that is ready to go.”

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