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Site cleanup on track for completion


OGDENSBURG — The cleanup of a former manufactured gas plant site on a three-quarter-acre property owned by National Grid at 10 King St. will be finished in October.

National Grid in May began a voluntary cleanup supervised by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

“Our project manager out of the Albany office says that the contaminated soil removal is more than 75 percent complete and the contractor says they are on target to be completed by Sept. 30,” said Stephen W. Litwhiler, DEC Region 6 citizen participation specialist.

Mr. Litwhiler said Thursday that 12,015 tons of soil and 335,000 gallons of treated water have been removed from the site.

National Grid spokeswoman Virginia J. Limmiatis said Thursday the cleanup is running ahead of schedule.

“We’ve made tremendous progress at the site,” she said.

But there is more work to do after Sept. 30.

“Once this digging out of the contaminated soil is complete, the next phase is what we call site management,” Mr. Litwhiler said Thursday. “A site management plan will be developed by National Grid. That addresses any remaining contamination and ensures that monitoring the effectiveness of the cleanup continues. National Grid also will be required to submit a final engineering report which will document all the remedial activities at the site. Both the site management plan and the final engineering report will have to be reviewed and approved by the DEC.”

National Grid is the site owner and, according to Mr. Litwhiler, the site management plan will require the utility to provide annual certification to DEC that the site cleanup remains effective.

According to DEC, under Ogdensburg Gas Co. from 1855 until 1923, St. Lawrence County Utilities Inc. until 1937 and Central New York Power Corp. until the 1940s, the plant heated coal and produced a manufactured gas used for lighting, heating and cooking by Ogdensburg homes and businesses. Propane gas was stored in above-ground tanks on the current site of St. Lawrence Gas Co. property from 1945 until 1997. The site was transferred to Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. in 1950 as part of its incorporation from smaller companies, including the Central New York Power Corp.

In 2002, Niagara Mohawk agreed to a voluntary cleanup plan with DEC. National Grid acquired Niagara Mohawk in 2002 and assumed responsibility for the investigation.

Miss Limmiatis said the property will be landscaped when the work is done.

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