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Ex-industrial site cleanup completed

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OGDENSBURG — National Grid has completed, ahead of schedule, a voluntary remediation at the site of the former Ogdensburg Gas Co., 10 King St.

The cleanup of the 0.75-acre property in the redevelopment-ripe marina district is good news for the city.

“We are very pleased with the professional way that National Grid cleaned” the property in the marina district, City Manager John M. Pinkerton said Friday. “This parcel of land further enhances the whole vision of an economically vibrant district in Ogdensburg.”

The work was set to be finished by the end of this year. LAND Remediation, hired by National Grid, was able to finish the job ahead of schedule and turned the site over to St. Lawrence Gas, the property’s owner.

National Grid is considered the utility responsible for the contamination, Stephen W. Litwhiler, DEC Region 6 citizen participation specialist, had said previously.

The cleanup concluded with the installation of a new fence and hydroseeding on the property. National Grid also put in new sidewalk sections and repaved areas around the access and egress points on King and Lake streets.

“National Grid takes seriously our role in helping to clean up former manufactured gas plant sites in our service area and to promote public health and the environment,” Melanie Littlejohn, regional executive director of National Grid’s Central New York division, said in a prepared statement. “Through collaboration with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the entire project team, we are pleased cleanup is completed.”

Mayor William D. Nelson said he was pleased to see the once-contaminated site “smack in the middle of the marina district” now ready for development.

“It’s awesome,” he said Friday. “The site looks great.”

“The soil remediation, the sidewalk replacement and the landscaping were all done so well that this parcel further enhances a revitalized river section of the city,” Mr. Pinkerton said. “The result of National Grid’s restoration ... makes the whole area much more appealing.”

The DEC-supervised cleanup began in May and included excavation and removal of surface and subsurface soils with monitoring systems installed by DEC orders.

The site was owned by Ogdensburg Gas Co. from 1855 until 1923, St. Lawrence County Utilities Inc. until 1937 and the Central New York Power Corp. until the 1940s. The plant heated coal and produced a manufactured gas used for lighting, heating and cooking by Ogdensburg homes and businesses.

Propane gas was stored in above-ground tanks by St. Lawrence Gas Co. from 1945 until 1997. The site was transferred to Niagara Mohawk in 1950 as part of its incorporation from smaller companies, including the Central New York Power Corp.

Niagara Mohawk agreed in 2002 to a voluntary cleanup plan with DEC. National Grid acquired Niagara Mohawk in 2002 and assumed responsibility.

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