Remediation will continue until late next year

Oct 04, 2016 at 10:12 pm by Observer-Review

Remediation will continue until late next year ADVERTISEMENT

Remediation will continue until late next year

PENN YAN--As progress continues with the remediation of the Keuka Lake Outlet, officials are still unsure about what the future holds for the historic stone building located on the site. Although it is now dwarfed by the large white temporary fabric structure, New York State Electric and Gas (NYSEG) had previously completed stabilization work on the stone structure in March. NYSEG's Public Information Director John Carroll said the future of the building is contingent upon the remainder of the $10 million cleanup project, adding any problems they come across at the site could impact its future use.
The building is a former manufactured gas plant that was constructed in 1899 and operated until 1931. The operating companies included the Penn Yan Gas Light Company (1889 through 1926) and the New York State Central Electric Corporation (1927 through 1931). Gas was distributed to consumers through buried mains and used primarily for illumination. The dredging project in the outlet between the Main and Liberty Street bridges is intended to remove some 8,000 cubic yards of sediment, with the prime soil contaminants from the former plant including coal tar, ash and purifier waste.
Carroll said they have just recently begun their dredging in the outlet, noting work is expected to be completed by late next year. He said there is also some additional site work to be done after the dredging. Carroll said the building itself took "hundreds of thousands of dollars" to stabilize, with a majority of the $10 million price tag involving the remediation work.
Despite having no plans for the building's future use, Carroll said NYSEG decided to preserve the building due to its historic value to the community. He said the initial remediation plans included the demolition of the building, as there was concern it was too unstable to remain standing during the outlet work. However, due to objections from community members, NYSEG decided to stabilize the building, repair the roof and fix some exterior bricks. The work also included the removal of a railroad trestle located west of the Main Street bridge. Penn Yan Mayor Leigh MacKerchar said while NYSEG has not indicated to him what they plan to do with the building either, he has heard from many people in the village who are also curious as to what it will be used for.
Meanwhile, the temporary fabric structure (TFS) is being used as an enclosure for the dewatering of the sediment that is removed from the outlet, according to an update by Assistant Director of Public Works Bill Jensen and John Ruspantini of NYSEG. The construction crews are currently preparing to divide the outlet into two sections so they can install fabric silt barriers to form cells that will allow them to excavate impacted sediment from the floor of the outlet while containing the silt and contaminants within these individual cells. The officials said they will begin this process near the outlet control structure gates and work upstream to the building.
"This is where the TFS come into play, as the impacted sediment is excavated and removed from the outlet it is transported to the TFS by skiff (a small barge) were it will be pulled or pushed into the TFS and offloaded," said Jensen and Ruspantini. "The material will be allowed time to dewater in this structure by being placed into containment areas so the wastewater can be collected and treated to remove the contaminants that may be present. The TFS also provides the benefit of capturing and filtering the air inside the TFS which helps to control odors and any airborne vapors or chemicals. After the material has been dewatered it will then be transported to an authorized landfill for disposal."




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