Tag Archive | "KeySpan"

National Grid Likely to Finish in May

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Anyone taking a stroll down Long Island Avenue might think the circus is in town if they catch a glimpse of the giant white tent surrounded by green fencing. The tent, however, was put up by National Grid/Keyspan as part of their ongoing remediation of the site where the gas ball once stood.

 According to Sag Harbor Village Trustee Ed Deyermond, the tent creates a climate controlled environment used to house two machines that dig up soil. The vapors from this process are then sucked into a filter, which purifies the air. These filtering machines are located in the parking lot across the street from the back entrance of Schiavoni’s IGA.

 In terms of contaminants, Deyermond said everything seems to be running smoothly.

 “All indicators are fine. The [containment] levels are below the tolerances,” he said.

 Although levels of contaminants are on target, the amount of water pumped daily from the site is lower than National Grid projected. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation permitted National Grid to pump 1.5 million gallons of water a day. However, only 300,000 to 350,000 gallons are currently being pumped.

 “They designed the plant to be a Cadillac, but they are driving a Ford,” Deyermond said of the discrepancies.

 Due to this shortfall, National Grid employees will continue to work on Saturdays. National Grid has overcome some other problems recently. Due to the snowstorm, a section of the tent was ripped and left a hole, but Deyermond said National Grid is in the midst of repairing the problem.

 “The company has been extremely conscientious,” added Deyermond. Last week, National Grid employees cleaned a grease spill, created by a garbage truck, near one of the stores at the end of Meadow Street.

 According to Deyermond, National Grid plans to have the project completed some time in the month of May.

 “The sooner we get it done, the better it is going to be for everyone,” said Deyermond. However, National Grid is still remaining mum on their plans for the site after the project is completed.

North Haven Village Scrambles to Remove Moored Boats

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The National Grid remediation project currently underway in Sag Harbor has some North Haven residents concerned.
At the monthly Village of North Haven Trustees meeting last week, board members discussed the nine month long remediation project which is designed to remove coal tar from the ground beneath the former Hortonsphere gas ball in Sag Harbor. With plans that include pumping water from the site out past the breakwater, North Haven officials have been asked by National Grid to remove all boats currently moored off shore on the North Haven side of the Sag Harbor bridge.
The National Grid remediation project on Long Island Avenue in Sag Harbor is expected to continue through the end of May and entails the removal of some 10 to 15 feet of contaminated soil from the Superfund site that once housed a manufactured gas plant – the source of pollution. As part of the clean-up, due to the high water table in the area, National Grid will remove water from the contaminated soil, treat it, and pump the clean water through a pipe out past the breakwater near North Haven.
North Haven village clerk Georgia Welch received a fax earlier last week asking for the removal of moored boats, which Mayor Laura Nolan said she believed the village was asked to do as soon as possible.
“We didn’t have any warning that this was something that was going to be done,” Nolan said on Wednesday.
Nolan said that although most of the boats are out of the water now, “It came as a surprise to all of us.”
Nolan said that she believes the residents in North Haven have been notified about the removal and possibly the yacht club and Ship Ashore Marina have been notified as well.
Village board member, Jim Smyth said that he is concerned if the project is not finished by May, the piping might have to stay in place, and that would become a problem for the summer months.
“It caught us off guard,” Smyth said, “We don’t know what might happen in the spring.”
Smyth said that the actual pumping of the water may begin December 1, but he added this seems to be a grey area.
The remediation will take the winter to complete, the demolition at the site began on September 30 and is expected to be completed in nine months.
The piping that will carry the treated water is already assembled and in place in the water. Lights mark the pipe’s course for boaters. According to National Grid, approximately 500,000 to one million gallons of treated water will be pumped through the pipes daily.
Today, Thursday, November 13, a meeting with FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) will commence in Southampton for the discussion of the revised flood maps and possible changes in flood insurance throughout the town.
North Haven has received an outline of areas where flood insurance is going to go up for those residents who are situated along the water in flood evacuation routes.
Village board member Jim Smyth said that board members received their new flood maps, and if any residents would like to make a comment on the changes, they will have 90 days to appeal any decisions made by FEMA, after today’s meeting.
Santa is coming to the village
Also at last week’s meeting the village board approved the visit of Santa Claus to the village on December 20. Santa will begin visiting the children and shut-ins of North Haven at noon on that day.

Harbor Committee Approves Cleanup of Toxic Gas Ball Site

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With one member absent and another abstaining, the Sag Harbor Village Harbor Committee gave its stamp of approval to the remediation of coal tar from the land under the former KeySpan Hortonsphere, paving the way for the cleanup project to commence in a week’s time.

On Monday, September 8 harbor committee chairman Bruce Tait broached the subject with the rest of the board, noting it was his belief that the village has done enough to ensure the ecology of Sag Harbor will not be negatively affected by the cleanup plan.

The project calls for the removal of coal tar, a byproduct of manufacturing gas on the site, which occurred from 1859 through 1931 when gas production ceased. The remediation plan involves the removal of 10 to 15 feet of soil throughout the site. Due to the high water table in the area, water will have to be removed from the soil, treated and pumped clean through a pipe that will traverse the bottom of Sag Harbor Cove and Sag Harbor Bay and dispense just past the breakwater near North Haven. It is expected the project will generate between 500,000 and a million gallons of fresh, treated water daily during the eight month process.

The fill, in the meantime, will be trucked to a DEC approved landfill. No more than 20 trucks a day are expected during the height of the excavation, according to DEC officials.

“What proof did they give you that all that fresh water is not going to hurt the salt water,” asked harbor committee member Jeff Peters.

Tait reminded Peters that the village hired independent consultants to oversee salinity monitoring performed by National Grid consultants in an effort to prove the project would not dilute the salt water, but that flushing outside the breakwater is strong enough and can accommodate enough fresh water to protect the ecology of the bay. Village environmental planning consultant Richard Warren agreed with the findings of the study — which showed no impact on the bay.

Tait added the filtration systems used to clean the water will be monitored by a number of agencies, including the harbor committee.

“They are required by law to have clean, potable water,” he said.

Tait did allow that the project is fairly “low tech,” and a “stinky, messy job.”

“I’ve been going to these meetings for months and months and months now and I am convinced this is the best option that has been put in front of the village,” he said. Other viable options, he added, included simply paving the site over, which he called “a bit of sticking your head in the sand.”

“Let’s get it out of here,” said committee member George Pharoah.

Pharoah, Tait and committee member Nancy Haynes voted that they found the project consistent with the LWRP with Peters abstaining, stating he felt he needed more information on the plan. Committee member Brian Halweil was absent from the meeting.

In other news, the board discussed the proposed revisions to the village code, which includes stricter wetlands ordinances, and a change that gives the harbor committee instead of the Sag Harbor Board of Trustees the authority to approve wetlands applications. The board of trustees introduced the wetlands section of the code on Tuesday, September 9, and will hold a public hearing at its October meeting.

In addition to giving the harbor committee more authority in this matter, it also gives them more teeth, increasing a suggested vegetation buffer from 25-feet to 75-feet for the construction of any structure near wetlands.

Tait suggested the board take the next month to review the regulations.

Sag Harbor Business Association member Ted Conklin said he attended the meeting to reaffirm the association’s support of the harbor committee and their involvement in the construction of the new zoning code, in particular where it involves the waterfront district.

The waterfront district is not a part of the wetlands regulations introduced by the board, or the extended powers the harbor committee is expected to gain should the new code be adopted.

Regardless, Conklin said he has questions about whether or not the uses of businesses on the waterfront can be controlled to ensure it is an appropriate use.

“I would like to see the harbor committee say it is not appropriate to have a sewing supply store down there,” he said as an example, preferring something like a sail maker, or another business that complimented the waterfront.

East End Digest – September 4

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Tomato Tasters Prevail

Despite buckets of rain on Saturday, over 120 people gathered at Quail Hill Community Farm in Amagansett for the 11th Annual Great Tomato Taste Off, and “cheerfully tasted and rated, taking their deliberations quite seriously, according to event coordinator Jane Weissman. Matt’s Wild Cherry, a small red cherry tomato, grown from seed from the farm’s 2007 crop, took first place, followed closely by the Sungold variety. Weissman noted these two varieties have a habit of taking the top two places, alternating as top tomato. San Marzano, a paste tomato served as sauce, took third place followed by Dr. Carolyn, a big yellow cherry, which was grown from 2007 seed. Sweet Olive, a red cherry, placed fifth.

Twin Forks: Bike Tour

The Long Island Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society will hold its two-day MS 150 Twin Forks Bike Tour for its third year this September 13 and 14. 

The 150-mile course is unique for its coverage of both Long Island’s north and south forks. The course begins and ends at the Elks Club in Southampton and stops overnight at Club Quinipet on Shelter Island. Riders can choose between a 50-mile or 75-mile route each day.

Participants can ride as individuals or as part of a team to raise money for MS research. Last year’s top individual cyclist Blaise Ingrisano raised $11,500 alone, giving the ring of truth to the Society’s message of one person inspiring hundreds. The top fundraising team of 2007, “CU Later MS” raised a total of $42,741 in donations. Committee members plan on reaching the million-dollar mark for this event within a few years.

The event committee needs volunteers for every area of the event, from registration and check-in to route and rest stop support. To volunteer, or to learn more about the MS 150 Twin Forks Bike Tour, call (516) 740-7227 or (631) 864-8337 or visit http://www.nmssli.org. 

Parrish Art Museum: Mandala Tour

From Tuesday, September 9 through Sunday, September 14, The Parrish Art Museum in Southampton will host The Compassionate Mandala Tour, which brings to the East End a group of Tibetan monks who will carry out one of the artistic traditions of Tibetan Buddhism – the ritual of painting with sand. 

Visitors to the museum can witness the creation of this sacred art as it unfolds every day over the course of six-days. Monks will be in the museum’s galleries constructing the mandala during regular museum hours, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event culminates with the dissolution of the mandala on Sunday, September 14. 

During their visit, the monks will also offer a variety of experiences and workshops for the public.

The Compassionate Mandala Tour benefits the Tibetan Children’s Village. The workshops and are free however, space for the workshops is limited and must be reserved in advance by calling 283-2118, ext. 40 or emailing chance@parrishart.org.

SF Breast Health Coalition: Celebrity Bird House

The 4th Annual Artist and Celebrity Bird House Auction to benefit the South Fork Breast Health Coalition is scheduled for Saturday, September 27, 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Southampton Cultural Center.

Dozens of artists, celebrities, and sports figures have already signed on to design their own birdhouses, which will be auctioned off to raise money for the Coalition’s various breast cancer support programs including Lend a Helping Hand, Neighbors Helping Neighbors, and Ellen’s Well programs that help breast cancer patients cope with the day-to-day pressures of life and struggles with treatment.

Actress Renee Zellweger will for the third year serve as honorary chair of the event. Eager “architects” include singer Patti LaBelle, architect Preston Phillips, designer Betsey Johnson, as well as artists Robert Wilson, Michael Lownie, David Salle, John Torreano, Eric Ernst, Jeff Muhs, Tony Rosenthal, Dan Rizzie, and David Gamble, to name a few.

You can start placing bids at the preview, which is one week before the event at the Hampton Road Gallery in Southampton on Saturday, September 20 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets are $40. For information or to purchase tickets, please call 726-8606.


Educate Yourself

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Next Wednesday Sag Harbor residents have an opportunity to educate themselves on a project that is sure to turn their lives upside down over the next nine months. We are referring to the remediation of the former KeySpan site, home of the old, great big, blue gas ball on Long Island Avenue and Bridge Street.

The remediation of the site is no small ordeal. Expect noise, expect to be disturbed and expect to find new ways to navigate around the village. Mind you, we have no choice in this matter. The project is going to happen whether we like it or not.

But you do have a choice in whether you are educated as to what is happening at the site. Next Wednesday consultants from National Grid as well as the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation will be on hand to answer any question you might have concerning the remediation project. If you do not avail yourself of this opportunity, then you should not complain when the project begins.

Sag Harborites like to be educated on issues that affect their community. So please go to this public availability session on Wednesday and ask a lot of questions. Ask about the possibility of odors emanating from the big tent that will cover the site. Ask about the trucks that will be traveling throughout our village and how safe they are. Ask about just how loud the excavation will be.

Most importantly educate yourselves so you know what is happening in your own community. Is that so much to ask?  

Public Meeting To Discuss Sag Harbor Toxic Cleanup

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A cadre of professionals from a number of state agencies and the utility responsible for the cleanup under the former manufactured gas plant on Bridge Street in Sag Harbor will host a meeting next week geared towards any community members who may have questions or concerns about the planned nine-month remediation project.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is hosting the meeting with the New York State Department of Health (DOH) at Pierson Middle-High School on Wednesday, August 27 from 7 to 9 p.m. Representatives from National Grid, which purchased KeySpan last year and is responsible financially for the cleanup will also be on hand.

The “public availability session” is intended as an opportunity for people to “drop in at any time,” according to a release issued by the DEC, and have one-on-one discussions about the site and proposed cleanup plans.

The clean up project, expected to begin in mid-September, will take place at the Long Island Avenue and Bridge Street site that once housed the KeySpan Hortonsphere – dismantled in 2006.

The site is polluted with coal tar, a byproduct of manufacturing gas on the site, which occurred from 1859 through 1931 when gas production ceased. According to the DEC, the Hortonsphere remained as a gas storage tank through 2006.

KeySpan, like National Grid now, inherited the task of remediating the site from LILCO. It signed a consent order in 1999 with the DEC to investigate and perform the cleanup. The DEC classified the parcel as a class two inactive hazardous waste disposal, meaning it represents a significant threat to human health or the environment and is in need of remediation.

Two years ago the DEC selected a remediation plan after presenting several options to the public, although last year Sag Harbor Village officials halted a planned September 2007 start date after concerns arose over the dewatering required in the chosen remediation plan.

The NYSDEC selected the form of remediation two years ago, although last year village officials put a halt to a planned fall 2007 start date in order to ensure aspects of the plan – namely the pumping of some million gallons of fresh, treated water daily into the waters off Sag Harbor, and truck traffic – would not have a negative effect on the village or water ecology in the area.

In mid-September, the remediation will begin with the demolition of the Schiavoni building on Long Island Avenue. The family has agreed to lease the land to National Grid through the cleanup and afterwards has plans to rebuild on the site.

The cleanup requires the excavation of soil containing coal tar on the site as deep as 10 to 15 feet in order to successfully remove the danger. As groundwater in the area, and in Sag Harbor, is so close to the surface dewatering – or removing water from the contaminated soil – is required before the soil is shipped out of the village and to a DEC approved disposal site. Dewatering the site will entail cleaning and treating water from the contaminated soil before pumping it beyond the breakwater, directly next to North Haven. Sag Harbor village officials expressed concern the plan could have a negative effect on the salinity and therefore ecology of the area, but earlier this month said salinity modeling had allayed their fears.

During the clean up, the DEC has said a number of mitigation plans will be in place to ensure Sag Harbor residents are burdened as little as possible by a massive cleanup that will involve road closures and excavation that may have odors attached to it. Community air monitoring plans have been devised to ensure any potential for air-borne exposure is curtailed, including six air monitors around the site, which will be tented during excavation. Odor control measures, such as using foam and tarps to cover any exposed fill, and a misting system are also planned during the heavy excavation.

The end of Bridge Street, near Long Island Avenue, will be closed from the beginning of the project. Long Island Avenue will also be subject to temporary closures. Forty maximum round trip truck trips per day – including bringing contaminated soil out and clean soil in – are required for the project, although DEC officials have said the trucks will be cleaned before they leave the site to ensure no contaminants enter the roadway. National Grid conducted vibration monitoring and traffic studies, in conjunction with the Village of Sag Harbor, to ensure historic homes were not at risk as a result of the truck traffic.

Two routes to the Sag Harbor-Bridgehampton Turnpike are proposed, including the exit route: Long Island Avenue to Glover Street to Main Street to the Turnpike then onto Montauk Highway; and the entry route: Main Street to Spring Street then entering the site from Bridge Street.

The John Jermain Memorial Library has complete copies of all official documents relating to the site and the cleanup. Information is also available through the DEC, by calling its regional public affair’s office at 444-0350.




Gas Plant Cleanup Expected This Fall

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The remediation of the land under a former manufactured gas plant in Sag Harbor will likely commence in September, according to Sag Harbor Trustee Ed Deyermond, following the village’s own environmental review of the clean-up plan. In part, the remediation involves pumping as much as one million gallons of treated, fresh water a day past the breakwater near North Haven.

On Tuesday, August 5 at 1:30 p.m. Sag Harbor Village officials will meet with the North Haven Board of Trustees, the Southampton Town Trustees and members of the village’s Harbor Committee for a run through of the remediation plan. A public meeting, which will be scheduled by KeySpan-National Grid – the utility responsible for the state-mandated remediation – will be held at the end of the month likely at a larger venue than Sag Harbor’s Municipal Building, said Deyermond on Tuesday.

The meeting represents the first solid step forward for the clean up project laid out in a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) record of decision in March 2006. The site under the former KeySpan Hortonsphere, which was removed in April 2006, is located on Bridge Street and Long Island Avenue and is contaminated with hazardous materials including coal tar. It must be remediated according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. KeySpan-National Grid is the utility financially responsible for the remediation.

The site operated as a manufactured gas plant from 1859 to 1930, first producing gas using coal and wood and then switching to a water gas process in 1892. According to the DEC, the by-products of gas production either spilled, leaked or were dumped on the site leading to contamination of the surface soil, subsurface soil, soil vapor and groundwater at the site.

In 1997 the DEC listed the site as a Class 2 site on the registry of Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal Sites in New York, meaning it is a site that poses a significant threat to public health and the environment and was the third state Superfund site in Sag Harbor. The DEC performed a remedial investigation from 2000 to 2004 before releasing their findings in 2006. A remediation based on their decision requires that KeySpan-National Grid excavate an extensive area of soil.

The project was expected to begin in the fall of 2007, but village officials began questioning the impact of dry excavation on Sag Harbor and North Haven ecology as dry excavation would entail, in part, treating and cleaning an expected 500,000 to 1.5 million gallons of water a day, which would then be pumped via pipe past the breakwater near North Haven. The other option would be wet excavation, which would entail removing contaminated fill with the water, which KeySpan-National Grid officials have argued would not only be more costly, but would also lead to even more truck traffic than the project is already is expected to generate.

Regardless, village officials asked KeySpan-National Grid to perform coastal modeling to ensure the ecosystem off Sag Harbor would not be negatively affected by the project. Craig Swanson created the model, and at the advice of Sag Harbor Village planning consultant Richard Warren, Lee Weishar of Woods Hole Group in Massachusetts reviewed the modeling on behalf of the village.

According to Deyermond, Weishar has now signed off on the plan. He added the Peconic Baykeeper has also signed off on the plan, which still needs Harbor Committee approval.

Other issues Deyermond expects to be laid out include discussion about traffic, noise and safety. The project is expected to commence around the third week in September, he said, with the demolition of the Schiavoni building on Long Island Avenue. Diane and Gabe Schiavoni, who envisioned the property as an investment for their grandchildren, worked out a deal earlier this summer with officials from KeySpan-National Grid. They will lease the property to the utility for a one-to-four year period, depending on the length of the remediation. The family purchased the property 30 years ago, and until 2006 it housed popular stores like Harbor Pets – businesses forced to move elsewhere or leave Sag Harbor once it was announced the building would have to be demolished in the clean-up process.

After the building is demolished, the utility will begin to prep the area for excavation and de-watering, fencing and tenting the site for safety, smell and noise purposes, and creating steel ground barricades to ensure ground water does not seep into the site during the remediation, said Deyermond.

Board members will also hear about road closures as a result of the clean-up project, as well as trucking routes and expected truck traffic, said Deyermond. The last traffic study indicated a daily peak of 40 trucks, the average number falling closer to 30, during an estimated 87 days over a four-month period for the excavation. Excavated soil would be removed between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m., with clean soil brought in during other times of the day.

 Deyermond said on Tuesday that, unofficially, both village and KeySpan officials hope the project will be completed in about one year, but that no remedial work would be done during the summer season in 2009.

Top: The parcel at the corner of Long Island Avenue and Bridge Street will be subject to a state mandated environmental cleanup starting this fall. Middle: The site was formerly a manufactured gas plant and once held the KeySpan Hortonsphere, which was removed in 2006. Bottom: The Schiavoni’s building on Long Island Avenue will have to be demolished as a result of the cleanup. (kmenu photos)