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Former natural gas making plant designated Superfund site

Former natural gas making plant designated Superfund site

DEC: Estimated cleanup cost $18.2 million
Former natural gas making plant designated Superfund site
Acting Gloversville Mayor Vincent DeSantis is pleased the old Hill Street gas plant is being cleaned up.
Photographer: Peter R. Barber

GLOVERSVILLE — The state Department of Environmental Conservation will hold a public meeting Feb. 21 at Gloversville City Hall to discuss the proposed $18.2 million remediation plan for the former Niagara Mohawk Hill Street manufactured gas plant located at 20 Hill St.

The former gas plant site has been designated for remediation under the state's Superfund program, which identifies inactive hazardous waste disposal sites that pose a significant threat to public health. 

Acting Mayor Vince DeSantis said he encourages members of the public to attend the meeting and to provide questions and comments to state officials about the process. He said remediation of sites like 20 Hill St. is an important part of revitalizing the city. 

"Every old industrial city has these sites, which were real job creators and wealth creators in the past, and now they need to be cleaned up, so it's appropriate that the state and federal government is helping with that," he said. 

The 20 Hill St. site joins approximately 87 other Superfund sites in the state. The only other current Superfund site in Fulton County is the old Johnstown City Landfill. 

DeSantis said Gloversville recently filed an application for a $300,000 federal grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to help identify all of the potential superfund sites in the city.

The proposed remediation plan for the site is available at the Gloversville Public Library at 58 East Fulton St. 

Some of the highlights of the remediation plan include:

  • Excavating and disposing off-site of approximately 21,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil associated with the past manufactured gas plant (MGP) operations at the site
  • Constructing a subsurface barrier wall to prevent further off-site migration of coal tar
  • Installing recovery wells to remove potentially mobile coal tar
  • Continued operation of on-site groundwater and stormwater collection and treatment systems

Part of the reason for the Superfund designation for the site is that contamination has been found downstream in the soil along the banks of the Cayadutta Creek.

According to the DEC fact sheet for the site, available at dec.ny.gov, the 13-acre property is bordered to the north by Hill Street, by South Boulevard to the east, a wooded area to the south, and the Rail Trail and Cayadutta Creek to the west. Eight acres of the location are fenced and still being used as a service area by its current owner, National Grid. 

Coal tar was observed in the subsurface soils and groundwater at the site.

DEC officials said that coal tar has been identified in the soil along the western bank of the Cayadutta  Creek downstream of the contaminated property.

"[Contamination] impacts are predominantly confined to a sand and gravel layer approximate 15 feet below the ground surface. Coal tar was also observed in the Cayadutta Creek sediments and bank soils in the vicinity of and downstream of the stormwater outfall," reads the DEC fact sheet.

According to the site description, a stormwater drainage ditch at 20 Hill St. runs along the western site perimeter which drains surface water runoff into to a settling basin located in the southwest corner, and from there into to Cayadutta Creek through a culvert.

Groundwater beneath the service center building and southwestern portion the area is collected and treated in an on-site groundwater treatment system and discharged to the Gloversville-Johnstown Joint Wastewater Treatment Facility. 

DEC is accepting written comments about the proposed plan for 30 days, from Jan. 30 through March 1. Comments can be submitted to Parag Amin, Project Manager, NYSDEC Division of Environmental Remediation, 625 Broadway Albany, N.Y.  2233-7014, or by phone at 518-402-9662 or by email at [email protected]

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