About the Williamsburg former Manufactured Gas Plant Site


Gas used for cooking, lighting, heating and commercial purposes was manufactured at the Williamsburg Manufactured Gas Plant (MGP) from approximately 1887 through the late 1930’s or early 1940’s. Historical records, while incomplete, indicate that an independent company operated the plant before that company merged to form Brooklyn Union Gas in 1895. The plant used coal and petroleum products to create a flammable gas which was piped into the surrounding neighborhoods. After the property was sold by Brooklyn Union, it was subdivided and now has multiple private owners and uses, including commercial and warehouse operations and a former City of New York Department of Sanitation garage. National Grid is responsible for the investigation and remediation of the site because it was operated by a predecessor company (Brooklyn Union) at the time MGP-related contamination occurred.

This website provides information on the Williamsburg former MGP Site, the Remedial Investigation of the site, and opportunities for public participation. National Grid is committed to the protection and enhancement of the environment, always seeking ways to minimize the environmental impacts of our past, present and future activities. We hope this website, a part of our public participation and outreach efforts, is helpful and informative. If you need additional information or have suggestions to make our website better, please contact the individuals listed under Contacts.

For more information about the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Manufactured Gas Plant Site program go to: http://www.dec.ny.gov/

Site News and Updates

Williamsburg Works Interim Remedial Measure
NAPL Recovery Wells

The non-aqueous Phase Liquid (NAPL) Recovery Well installation and development field work for the 50 Kent Avenue Interim Remedial Measure (IRM) includes the installation of recovery wells to recover coal tar at the 50 Kent Avenue property of the Former Williamsburg Works MGP Site.

Update for the Week Ending November 18, 2016

Site Remediation Continues

On-going activities:

  • Continued the application of water for dust control;
  • Continued the application of foam and BioSolve for Total Volatile Organic Compounds (TVOC), Particulate Matter (PM-10) [dust], and odor control;
  • Maintained erosion and sediment (E&S) controls (Installed waddles - wood chip and straw filled fabric tubes - around the Site perimeter to prevent silt and sediment from leaving the Site and covered all stockpiles);
  • Continued pumping from the decontamination pads, excavated areas, sumps and dewatering wells to the water treatment plant (WTP);
  • Continued operation of the WTP and discharge to the sewer;
  • Continued shallow excavation and backfilling on the western areas of the Site;
  • Continued lining and loading trucks and shipping impacted soil to Bayshore Soil Management for treatment and disposal:
    • 131 trucks; 2,699.26 tons shipped last week; and
    • 35,967.39 tons shipped to date.
  • Continued crushing and stockpiling reuse material to be used for backfill in the deep excavation on the eastern area of the Site; and
  • Continued deep excavation within the SOE wall under the temporary containment building (TCB).

Recently Completed:

  • Completed the installation of tiebacks through the support of excavation (SOE) sheet pile wall for external bracing:
    • 1 tieback installed last week; and
    • 76 of 76 tiebacks installed.

Upcoming activities:

  • Complete the testing of the installed tiebacks.

Community Air Monitoring Plan Summary

Community air monitoring, initiated on Tuesday, December 1, 2015, continues as intrusive (ground disturbance) activities are conducted.

There were no fifteen-minute Action Limit exceedances for Particulate Matter (PM-10) [dust], Total Volatile Organic Compounds (TVOC), or odors during this reporting period.

There were three instances on Friday evening and Saturday morning, November 18 and 19, where benzene levels exceeded the Action Limit during nonworking hours.  Employees were called back to the Site to repair breaches and tears in the TCB fabric and to apply additional foam to the material stockpiled in the TCB.   Once these items were addressed, benzene and TVOC levels returned to below the Response Limit.

If you have any questions or comments about the work on the Site, please use the Williamsburg MGP Telephone Hotline at (718) 403-3053.

Photos of Activity

Removing hardscape (asphalt and concrete) for reuse material from the shallow excavation area and applying water for dust control.

Excavating impacted soil in the shallow excavation area.

Offloading select fill for backfilling the shallow excavation area.

Installing (drilling) the last tieback through the northern SOE sheet pile wall.

Excavating impacted soil and installing (drilling) the tieback in the TCB.

Holder No. 1 tank uncovered in the south end of the deep excavation in the TCB.

Loading lined trucks with impacted soil from the deep excavation.

Lined trucks waiting to be loaded with impacted soil in the TCB.

Closing the liners of the loaded trucks prior to washing at the decontamination pad.

Washing the lined and loaded trucks at the decontamination pad prior to leaving the Site.