Tag Archive | "National Grid"

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.

 

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.

 

      

 

Village Reviews Toxic Cleanup Plan

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The state mandated cleanup of the land under a former manufactured gas plant in Sag Harbor will involve large scale excavation, water treatment and discharge, road closures, demolition, trucking and maybe a few unpleasant odors in the beginning.

On Tuesday, August 5 National Grid – the company that has bought KeySpan and is now responsible for the remediation project – and a representative from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) presented village officials from Sag Harbor and North Haven an overview of the cleanup plan, expected to begin mid-September. Southampton Town Trustees, Peconic Baykeeper Kevin McAllister, the Group for the East End’s Jeremy Samuelson and Southampton Town Board member Anna Throne-Holst were also on hand for the presentation.

The cleanup will be at a Long Island Avenue site once a manufactured gas plant, which also housed the now absent KeySpan Hortonsphere. As the DEC’s Doug MacNeil explained, in 1998 it was categorized by the site as a class two site, or a site that represents a significant threat to human health or the environment and therefore in need of remediation.

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.

The site is polluted with coal tar, a byproduct of manufacturing gas on the site, which occurred from the 1860s through the mid-1900s.

National Grid has taken financial responsibility for cleaning up the toxic material and after the NYSDEC selected a remedy for the toxic waste.

 Trustee and former mayor Ed Deyermond has led the village’s review of the plan, which was put on hold after concerns emerged last year over the dewatering required at the 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. Village officials expressed concern the plan could have a negative effect on the salinity and therefore ecology of the area – concerns which environmental planning consultant Richard Warren said were allayed after further study.

Last week, Deyermond confirmed the cleanup would commence this September, although no major work will begin until after September 22. National Grid and village officials hope the project will be completed by May, but have committed that no work will be done during the summer season.

ENSR consulting engineer Roger Hathaway, on behalf of National Grid, will oversee the plan, which involves removing 10 to 15 feet of soil from the site.

“In the simplest fashion, it’s a hole in the ground,” said Hathaway.

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, although brief. As the groundwater in Sag Harbor is virtually the surface water, explained Hathaway, dewatering will be necessary and a concrete wall will be installed to create an impermeable barrier. 

Dewatering, or removing the water from the soil, will be the next step in the process, before the water is treated in an area likely to take up some of the village parking lot behind Schiavoni’s IGA. The water will then be discharged, via pipe past the breakwater. A 40-foot tent will house the area being excavated and will be moved around the site as needed, explained Hathaway, reducing noise and smells coming from the site.

Forty maximum round trip truck trips per day – including bringing contaminated soil out and clean soil in – are required for the project. The trucks, said Hallaway, will be cleaned before they leave the site to ensure no contaminants enter the roadway.

The village studied trucking routes last July for a number of projects, including the Bulova remediation and KeySpan. The goal was to ensure trucking routes would not be the same for both projects.

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.

Next week, National Grid will announce a public session detailing the plan, to be held in Sag Harbor at the end of the month.

 

 

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)