2004-05-07 / Front Page

Toxic Timeline For MGP Clean Up

Toxic Timeline For MGP Clean Up

The Manufactured Gas Plant (MGP) that was operated by the Long Island Lighting Company for more than 70 years at Beach Channel Drive and Beach 108 Street left toxic chemicals at the site that one expert termed as a "toxic washing machine." The following time line illustrates the long and complicated process of cleaning the site.

September, 1998: The old LILCO MGP site is added to the Superfund List as a Class II Inactive Toxic Waste site. By its own definition, the former plant was designated as a site that needed to be remediated because it was a danger to public health and the environment.

August, 1999: First meeting of community committee hosted by Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer to get updates on the cleanup process by KeySpan Energy Company, the organization that inherited the site when the Long Island Power Authority was authorized.

December, 1999: KeySpan Energy and the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) sign an agreement that the new energy company will be responsible for investigating and cleaning the site.

October, 2000: At a meeting of the community committee, KeySpan officials say that the study of the environmental impact of the site on the community is almost completed. Samples from the site indicated that there is toxic material on the site and that the final report should be to the DEC by January of 2001.

September, 2001: Public meeting about remediation plan is postponed after terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

October, 2001: KeySpan officials tell Rockaway residents that the process of studying the site for remediation is moving along and that the company is working with the DEC as quickly as possible to complete the process.

August, 2002: LIPA asks the DEC for permission to build a new substation on a portion of the site, stating that the indicated portion was never part of the MGP and that it was therefore clear of toxics.

October, 2002: The DEC agrees to allow the new substation on a portion of the toxic site.

September, 2002: LIPA suspends work on the new substation under community pressure to prove that there are no toxic wastes on that portion of the site.

October, 2002: LIPA resumes work on new substation after public meetings convince most locals that the site is safe. KeySpan promises to complete the remediation work after the substation is completed.

January, 2003: The substation is completed and the old substation is slated for demolition. KeySpan says that it is completing its Remedial Feasibility Study and that it should be sent to the DEC by March of 2003. In addition, the company says that its final report to the DEC should be available by July of 2003. The final remedial plan that would lead to the clean up of the site is expected by March of 2004.

April, 2004: At a meeting of the community committee, KeySpan says that its Preliminary Remediation Plan (PRAP) should be ready by June of 2004. That plan will then be brought to the community, which will have the chance to comment on the plan sometime early this summer. It could then take up to a year for the final plan to be drawn and for an action plan to be developed.

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