Health and safety is a critical part of the Williamsburg MGP site remediation project as we work to address the environmental impacts at the site and improve the environment. National Grid is committed to protecting the public, our workers and contractors and the environment from potential hazards that can occur as part of cleanup activities planned for the site.
Health and safety programs are comprised of careful planning, good communication and effective monitoring of the execution of the health and safety plans. Remediation work will be performed by qualified contractors that are appropriately trained and monitored and is to be performed in accordance with applicable regulations. Health and Safety Plans have been developed for each remediation activity. Contractors are required to have employee training and medical monitoring programs and are evaluated based on their compliance with established health and safety plans.
Public safety will be monitored under oversight from NYSDEC and NYSDOH using the Community Air Monitoring Program. The CAMP will include air monitoring at the investigation sites and also between investigation activities and nearby residential and commercial areas. Rarely, investigation of MGP wastes can produce unpleasant odors, and this will be controlled to the extent practicable by using a temporary enclosure over the work areas, limiting the size of the area excavated, using foam to cover exposed materials and by occasionally stopping work if necessary. The Community Air Monitoring Plan has specified monitoring locations and concentrations that will determine when additional odor or emission controls must be used and when the work must stop to protect workers and the public.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the problem?
Historical gas manufacturing activity has impacted soil and potentially groundwater at the Williamsburg former MGP Site. Some of these materials have the potential to affect human health or the environment. The site remediation program is designed to clean up the site to ensure that there are no adverse effects to human health and the environment while the properties on the site remain in valuable use.
Should I be concerned?
Because the majority of the site is either paved or developed with buildings, it is unlikely that there are pathways through which people can be exposed to any MGP-associated contaminants that may be present on the site. In addition, most of the site is either fenced or locked, limiting any public access to it. Drinking water in the area is provided through the City of New York’s public water supply system. There is no public access to the East River adjacent to the site. A Health and Safety Plan will be in effect throughout the Investigation to ensure that the work does not create exposure pathways that present risks to site workers or the public.
What can I expect when remediation starts?
You will see equipment and specialized work crews taking soil samples, digging test pits using excavators and advancing soil borings using a truck that appears to have a drill rig mounted on it. As currently planned, none of the work will interfere with traffic, the operation of businesses or other normal community activities. Some of the workers may be wearing protective gear, which is required for this type of work because of the possibility of their direct contact with the contaminants.
For more information about the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Manufactured Gas Plant Site program and health issues associated with former MGP sites go to: http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/8430.html