Meeting to address coal tar contamination in Granville

T he Department of Environmental Conservation has formed a plan to fix a former manufactured gas plant(MGP) site and will welcome public comment next month.

A two-year investigation found that subsurface soil and groundwater beneath the 10-acre site have been contaminated by coal tar, which migrated from the former MGP.

This contamination migrated through a gravel layer 10 feet below the ground surface, and coal tar spread to the north, under approximately 4 acres of the NYSEG property and to the west under the Mettawee River and the adjoining portion of the Little League property, according to the DEC.

While officials said there are no current health-related exposures to the contaminants, they recommend cleanup to prevent future or further spread of contamination.

The proposed, $14,350,000 remedy for the New York State Electric and Gas (NYSEG) site includes the removal and offsite disposal of coal tar contaminated soil beneath three areas in the village.

Among these are the former MGP site, which sits behind the Little League fields, a 700-foot long section of the Mettawee River, which will require a temporary diversion of the river, and a small area of the Little League fields, according to the DEC.

Additionally, remediation includes in-situ solidification of coal tar contaminated soil near the property, recovery wells, other removal and a site management plan.

NYSEG has agreed to investigate and remediate the site to a level that is protective of public health and the environment, and NYSEG and the state’s Department of Health will provide oversight for the process, according to the DEC.

“The proposed remedy is protective of human health and the environment, cost-effective, compliant with statutory requirements and utilizes permanent solutions to the maximum extent practicable,” according to a release.

NYSEG will cover the cost of the remediation. In an informational letter the DEC sent out, other alternatives were listed, including not fixing the problem or excavating and removing various amounts of soil across the site at different depths.

On Thursday, March 13 from 6:30 to 9 p.m., representatives will hold a public meeting at the village offices to discuss proposed remediation. Community members can also send written comments until March 30, 2014 to Henry Willems, Project Manager, NYSDEC, 625 Broadway, 11th Floor, Albany, N.Y., 12233 or by email to htwillem@gw.dec.state.ny.us.

More information and documents are also available at the Pember Library. For site-related health questions call Wendy Kuehner at 402-7860 or email beei@health.state.ny.us.

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