PCB cleanup in progress at Route 299 Central Hudson site

PCB cleanup at the Central Hudson Site in Highland is underway. (Photo by Lauren Thomas)

A brownfield site impacting a wetland on the western side of the Central Hudson Gas & Electric storage facility at the intersection of South Street and Route 299 in Lloyd is currently being excavated for the removal and disposal of two types of contaminants: polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PHAs). For the past several months, two large excavators have been dredging sediments that tested positive for PCBs and PHAs following an environmental site assessment process that began back in 2007. According to Central Hudson media relations director John Maserjian, the remediation process should be completed by this fall, with 6,000 cubic yards of sediment removed from the site.

“Our remediation field activities began this year in May, and excavation began in June,” Maserjian said. “The water taken up with the excavation is treated and tested on-site and released back into the wetlands under approval by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The water treatment operation removes any contaminants, and the water is tested before being released. The site contractor is Abscope of Canastota, New York, and the consulting engineer for the remedial project is Aracadis. Both are specialty firms in environmental remediation…. The soils are removed by truck, and taken to an approved site in Seneca, New York.”


Maserjian explained that the facility had been used by Central Hudson primarily for equipment storage since the 1950s, and in recent years mainly as a staging ground for repair crews during power outage emergencies. Before PCBs were outlawed by New York State in the 1970s, transformers containing the oily substance had been stored at the site. Leakage eventually made its way into a drainpipe whose outfall was located near the small wetland area on the west side of South Street. The area identified as in need of remediation during the environmental investigation is now “very well-contained,” Maserjian said. “There are no issues in terms of any sort of materials leaving the site.”

The lengthiest part of the process of planning the hazardous waste cleanup operation was designing and approving the remedial plan, a process that “typically takes several years to complete,” according to the utility spokesman. Following the excavation, the materials removed from the site will be “replaced with clean sediments” and replanted with native vegetation this fall. Maserjian noted that the final plan requires “habitat enhancement” including the placement of “basking logs for resident turtles.”

All of the cleanup is expected to be completed in October, and habitat restoration work will take place through the fall. “Testing at the site will continue for at least five years, and a contingency remedial plan will be put into place if ever needed,” Maserjian added.

There is one comment

Comments are closed.