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Washington Street Former MGP Site

Fact Sheet - December 2011
NYSDEC Certifies Cleanup Requirements Achieved
at Binghamton Brownfield Site

Washington Street Former MGP Site
25 Washington Street
NYSDEC Site No. C704046
Binghamton, NY

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) has determined that New York State Electric & Gas Corporation (NYSEG) and Washington Development Associates (WDA) ("applicants") have achieved cleanup requirements to address contamination related to the Washington Street Former Manufactured Gas Plant (MGP) ("site") located at 25 Washington Street in Binghamton, NY. The cleanup was performed under New York's Brownfield Cleanup Program.

Washington Ave. Former MGP Location
Location of Washington St. Former MGP site in Binghamton

NYSDEC has issued a Certificate of Completion to the applicants regarding the site. WDA is now eligible to accept tenants into the new building following completion of construction. A copy of the Notice of the Certificate of Completion is available at the location identified below under "Where to Find Information."

Completion of Project

The majority of the cleanup action was performed in Spring and Summer 2010. The final components of the cleanup action were integrated with site redevelopment and were constructed by December 2011.

The remedial activities were implemented to mitigate potential threats to human health and the environment arising from the presence of coal tar/chemical constituents in subsurface soil. This was achieved by the:

  1. excavation, transportation and offsite treatment/disposal of approximately 12,500 cubic yards (cy) of impacted soil from the site.
  2. construction of the engineering controls described in the next section.
  3. implementation of institutional controls that limit site use to restricted residential purposes and prevent use of groundwater unless it is treated and rendered safe for intended use.
  4. establishment of site-wide monitoring programs such as periodic groundwater monitoring and inspection of cover materials.

Engineering Controls/Institutional Controls

Engineering controls and institutional controls generally are designed to reduce or eliminate exposure to contaminants of concern. An engineering control is a physical barrier or method to manage contamination such as a cap or vapor barrier. An institutional control is a non-physical restriction on use of the site, such as a deed restriction, when contamination left over after the cleanup action makes the site suitable for some, but not all uses.

The following engineering controls have been put in place on the site:

  • a soil cover system comprised of clean soil at least 2-feet thick, clean soil plus asphalt pavement or concrete totaling at least 2-feet thick, asphalt/concrete at least 6-inches thick, or a building (depending on location) that covers the entire site.
  • vapor intrusion mitigation measures at the new building that include a vapor impermeable membrane under the building floor slab (vapor barrier) and a passive sub-slab depressurization system (sub-slab vent piping).

Institutional controls developed for this site consist of an Environmental Easement (EE) and Site Management Plan (SMP). The EE restricts future land use and development to restricted residential purposes. This category requires common ownership or a single owner/managing entity of the site. It allows the site to be used for purposes other than raising livestock, producing animal products for humans, vegetable gardening (with some exceptions), and single family housing. The SMP specifies the methods necessary to maintain compliance with the engineering and institutional controls required by the EE (through maintenance, inspections and monitoring). For example, the SMP describes procedures that must be implemented in the event the soil cover system is breached, penetrated or temporarily removed, and in the event any subsurface contamination at the site is disturbed.

Next Steps

NYSDEC issued the Certificate of Completion based on review and approval of a Final Engineering Report submitted by the applicants. The Final Engineering Report includes: 1) a description of the cleanup activities completed; 2) certification that cleanup requirements have been achieved for the site; 3) a description of the institutional/engineering controls to be used; and 4) a certification that the SMP for the engineering controls used at the site has been approved by NYSDEC.

With its receipt of a Certificate of Completion, WDA will be eligible to accept tenants into the new building. In addition, the applicants:

  • have no liability to the State for contamination at or coming from the site, subject to certain conditions; and
  • are eligible for tax credits to offset the costs of performing cleanup activities and site redevelopment.

A Certificate of Completion may be modified or revoked if, for example, the applicants do not comply with the terms of their respective Brownfield Cleanup Agreements with NYSDEC, or if an applicant commits fraud regarding its application or the certification that it has met cleanup levels.


NYSDEC previously accepted applications from the applicants to participate in the Brownfield Cleanup Program. The application proposes that the site will be used for restricted residential purposes.

The site occupies approximately 1.4 acres of land within a city block in Binghamton, Broome County, NY. The site and the surrounding land use is commercial. From around 1853 until 1888 the site was used to manufacture gas from coal. Subsequent to that, the site was used for various commercial purposes, including automobile and truck sales and service, a gasoline filling station, and plumbing and electric supply facilities.

In February 2005, NYSEG submitted an application to enroll this site in the State's Brownfield Cleanup Program. The Brownfield Cleanup Agreement was issued in October 2005. A Remedial Investigation Work Plan was approved by the NYSDEC in November 2005, and the Remedial Investigation field work was initiated in May 2006. An Alternative Analysis Report/Remedial Work Plan (AAR/RWP) was submitted to the NYSDEC in August 2009 and revised in October 2009. In January 2010, NYSDEC issued a Decision Document for the site. NYSEG also submitted a Remedial Action Work Plan (RAWP) to the NYSDEC in January 2010; it was approved in March 2010.

For More Information

Location of Reports and Information
Project documents are available at the following location to help the public stay informed.

Broome County Library
185 Court Street
Binghamton, NY
(607) 778-6407 (Reference Desk)
Monday - Thursday 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Friday & Saturday 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Who to Contact
Comments and questions are always welcome and should be directed as follows:

Project-Related Questions
Kiera Becker
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Division of Environmental Remediation
625 Broadway, 11th Floor
Albany, NY 12233-7014
(518) 402-9662

Site-Related Health Questions
Julia Kenney
New York State Department of Health
547 River Street
Troy, NY 12180-2216
(800) 458-1158, ext. 27860

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