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 August 12, 2016

Site Remediation Continues

On-going activities:

  • Continued the application of water, odor-suppressant foam, and BioSolve for odor and dust 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 in the eastern areas of the Site;
  • Continued lining and loading trucks and shipping impacted soil to Bayshore Soil Management for treatment and disposal:
    • 33 trucks; 861.39 tons shipped last week; and
    • 10,662.68 tons shipped to date.
  • Continued crushing clean excavated material for reuse as backfill in the deep excavation;
  • Continued the placement and compaction of select fill in the shallow excavation areas:
    • 2,975.62 tons of select fill imported to the Site last week; and
    • 7,695.58 tons imported to date.
  • Continued the assembly the temporary containment building (TCB) components;
  • Continued the installation of electrical service for the vapor management system (VMS) for the TCB; and
  • Initiated installation of the VMS components for the TCB.

Recently completed activities:

  • Completed the installation of the TCB superstructure (frame and fabric) over the deep excavation area;
  • Completed electrical installation of the overhead lights in the TCB; and
  • Completed the installation and plumbing of the dewatering well pumps and initiated dewatering within deep excavation area.

Upcoming activities:

  • Complete installation, startup and testing of the six VMS units for the TCB; and
  • Initiate the deep excavation within the SOE wall.

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 Total Volatile Organic Compounds (TVOCs) or odors during this reporting period.

There were three instances of the fifteen-minute average concentration of Particulate Matter (PM-10) [dust] exceeding the applicable Action Limit:  On August 8 at AMS-2 due to dust created during breaking clean asphalt and concrete; on August 9 at AMS-2 due to dust created during compaction of clean backfill; and on August 11 at AMS-3 due to dust created during reuse material crushing activities.  When SES applied additional water, dust levels returned to below the Response Limit.  SES was directed to wet all areas down prior to initiating work that creates dust and throughout the duration of those activities.

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

Installing the superstructure (frame) for the TCB.

Installing air intake louvers for the VMS in the sidewall of the TCB.

Plumbing and installing electrical service to the dewatering well sumps in the deep excavation area.

Conducting shallow excavation in the eastern areas of the Site.

Breaking concrete in the shallow excavation area and applying water for dust control.

Loading excavated material from the shallow excavation area for transfer to the impacted soil staging area on Site.

Loading impacted soil from the staging area into lined trucks for shipment to Bayshore Soil Management for treatment and disposal.

Grading select fill lifts placed in the shallow excavation area.

Compacting select fill lifts placed in the shallow excavation area.

Crushing reuse material and applying water for dust control.

Applying long duration foam to the reuse soil stockpile for dust control.