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Officials Work to Clean Former Ossining Gas Works

OSSINING, N.Y. – State and local officials are working on an investigation and clean-up of the former Ossining Gas Works site.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), New York State Department of Health and Con Edison are working on an environmental study of the historical manufactured gas plant site. The MGP site “currently comprises the new Con Edison substation facility on Central Street and the Ossining DPW yard between Central, Main and North Water streets,” according to a release from Con Edison and the DEC.

Village of Ossining Mayor William Hanauer said he’s hopeful the investigation won’t find harmful materials so the village can move forward in seeking developers on the site.

“If we can get this property developed, it will tie the downtown to the waterfront and it will change lives in Ossining,” Hanauer said. “This has been a goal of mine since I became a trustee” in 2005.

DEC officials said the historical MGP site was used “to convert coal and oil into gas for heating, lighting and cooking” in the 1900s. But the process “included contaminants such as tar and purifier wastes,” officials said in the release, and the specific “substances of concern” include benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene compounds.

“These are volatile hydrocarbons found in MGP byproducts and also found in most petroleum products such as gasoline,” a DEC representative said in the press release.

Lisa King, press representative for the DEC, said the remedial investigation began on March 5 “with clearing and mark outs for underground utilities, sewers and other underground obstructions within the commuter parking lot.” The “Site Characterization” work plan to gather information was approved by the DEC in 2007, King said.  The scope was increased, however, “due to the discovery of non-aqueous phase liquid” or DNAPL off-site.

“The field program should be completed this spring and report preparation completed by late summer,” King said. “This is the final phase of the investigation and will lead to the remedy selection process.”

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