Con Edison to decontaminate site

St. Raymond High School’s athletic field will undergo a decontamination.
Community News Group / Steven Goodstein

A historic, but contaminated site in the Bronx will be remedied.

It has been confirmed that Con Edison will collaborate with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the New York State Department of Health to decontaminate the former Purdy Street Station, the erstwhile site of a manufactured gas plant that is currently part of St. Raymond High School property, located on 2151 St. Raymond Avenue.

MGPs operated in the 1800s and 1900s, before the development of natural gas systems, and were designed for the storage and distribution of manufactured gas.

According to site maps, the plant operated sometime between 1870 and 1895, before being acquired by Con Edison through a merger in 1936, and was eventually sold to the St. Raymond Church in 1960.

Even though the MGP operations ended many years ago, the land beneath the St. Raymond High School athletic field is contaminatted.

The clean-up of the site includes the removal of 3,900 cubic yards of soil from a 12,000 square foot area.

The excavation will encompass the removal of soil to the depth of five to eight feet which will remediate about 90% of the site’s known contamination.

Decomposition of ground water contamination will also be conducted.

The Parkchester community will be protected from any potential hazards during the remediation as well. The site will be fenced-in, all inactive dirt piles will be covered, and odor-controlling sprays will be used.

The NYSDOH-based Community Air Monitoring Plan will also be implemented to detect organic dust and vapors at the site’s perimeter to prevent potential exposure to neighboring residents.

The remedy also includes the development of a Site Management Plan, which will prevent exposure of the small amount of remaining contamination after the remediation is completed, as well as incorporate the imposition of a deed restriction which will require compliance with the management plan and notification to the NYSDEC if any intrusive work is conducted.

“Con Edison – like other utilities – entered into voluntary cleanup agreements with the state to address former MGP sites and these utilities were asked to undertake the investigation and remediation process because they used to own the sites, and are really the only entities with the resources to do so,” said Michael Clendenin, director of media relations for Con Edison. “We (Con Ed) have been working closely with the school, state officials and environmental experts to make sure the investigation and remediation of the site is done safely.”

According to Con Edison, NYSDEC and NYSDOH, the redemption will take three to four months to complete.

This project is part of Con Edison’s participation in the remediation of former MGP sites being conducted under the NYS Voluntary Cleanup Program.

The remediation investigation phase of this site concluded in 2010, before the NYSDEC issued the final Decision Document for the site in January 2015, which included a conduction of the remedy.

However, as determined by the NYSDOH, there is no risk to human health from the site in its current station, as the contamination is below ground and not in contact with the public.

Reach Reporter Steven Goodstein at (718) 742–3384. E-mail him at sgood‌stein‌@cngl‌ocal.com.

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