Cleanup at Hoboken Gas Works

Hoboken Gas Works site “clean” – how can you be sure?

Close to a year and a half after PSE&G started this “cleanup” at the Hoboken Gas Works site near 13th & Clinton Streets – they seem to be “done” cleaning up whatever toxic mess was there.

You’d expect that if a public utility corporation would go through the hoops to appear that they did indeed clean it up – that the job was done to a satisfactory level of completion. But how can the public be sure? I know there are “tests” and reports – but can they be trusted? Do they get three or more independent companies to do the testing to ensure legitimacy?

One might never know, and it’d be great if all doubt can be removed (last thing you’d want to hear is that the ground underneath whatever building is built is still toxic 20 years down the road). Do they offer guarantees?

Hoboken gas works site how can you be sure it is really clean NJ

Hoboken Citizens against the Construction noise
at PSE&G “gas works” remediation site

3/26/2014 Update:

Some uptown Hoboken residents are angry. They call themselves the “Citizens against the Construction noise,” and their gripe is the remediation going on at the toxic PSE&G Gas Works site at 13th & Clinton Streets.

Many feel that PSE&G is violating their agreement to keep the noise “minimized” and only between certain hours (here is the noise at 7:30am, half an hour before they’re “allowed” to start):

And the general ear-piercing sound during the day:

They’ve even made graphics that express their outrage:

Citizens against the construction noise in Hoboken

Citizens against the construction noise in Hoboken call PSEG Liars

Is construction “progress” right or wrong in an urban environment?

These citizens certainly have a right to express complaints – especially about any “violations” or special “liberties” the construction and cleanup crews might be making or taking.

However, one Hoboken resident we spoke with pretty much want these residents to shut up, “These entitled assholes don’t know how lucky they are to live in Hoboken. Don’t they realize that the very building they’re living in ALSO MADE NOISE when it was under construction? They must feel the world revolves around them.”

While area neighbor John was a bit more forgiving, “I’m happy to get rid of this useless eyesore of a lot. The noise today for an improved block tomorrow is a sacrifice I’m willing to make. Certainly no need to form an activist group to complain about it. This is what capitalism and living in a free country is all about. Don’t like it? Move to the country.”

What do you think? Should this lot just remain empty forever? Or should the proper steps be taken to clean it up and move forward already?

Hoboken Gas Works Environmental Cleanup & Remediation

1/9/2014 Update:

We told you about the impending environmental cleanup over at the old Hoboken Gas Works Site on Block 110 (12th & 13th between Grand & Clinton) a few months ago. And this week they began constructing a MASSIVE dome-like structure to aid in containing the “fumes” that plagued other cleanup sites in Hoboken recently (Willow14 rings a bell to many uptown residents).

PSE&G plans to remove nearly 100,000 tons of contaminated material and cart it out of town.

The project is expected to take up to a year and a half to complete. Uptown residents probably are still a bit nervous, regardless of the fancy “toxic dome.” Perhaps this can be one of the tourist stops during the Super Bowl?

Hoboken Gas Works remediation PSEG Clinton

Hoboken Gas Works Environmental Cleanup – reason to worry?

9/5/2013 Update:

If I lived in the area surrounding Block 110 in Hoboken (that empty lot on Clinton between 12th & 13th), I might be a bit nervous. Some kind of environmental cleanup will begin in the near future. This is a similar situation that area residents near the Willow14 development uptown are still complaining about…

Read the memo that PSE&G sent out concerning the remediation below.

Environmental cleanup Hoboken Gas Works

Former Hoboken Gas Works Site Remediation and Restoration Project

Project Background

Prior to the widespread availability of natural gas, gas was “manufactured” through a process of heating coal in a specialized oven. These facilities were called Manufactured Gas Plants (MGP) and they were common in many urban areas of the United States during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Manufactured gas was used for residential and street lighting and cooking. The
manufactured gas process produced byproducts such as coal tar and other chemicals that were used in the chemical, dye and pharmaceutical industries. An unintended consequence of the MGP industry was the release of coal tar and various byproducts to the environment.

A predecessor company of Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) operated an MGP in Hoboken from the late 1860’s to the mid 1930’s on two parcels of property that are identified as Block
110, Lot 1 and Block 116, Lot 1 on the City of Hoboken tax map. The focus of this project is Block 110, which is bordered on the north by 13th Street, on the south by 12th Street, on the east by Clinton Street, and on the west by Grand Street.

PSE&G plans to remediate the soil and ground water contaminants on this property beginning mid-2014. To prepare the site for this activity, equipment and personnel will mobilize to the site in the 3rd
quarter of 2013. To remediate the property, PSE&G plans to excavate approximately 95,000 tons of contaminated soil from the site. The excavated soil will be transported to an off-site facility for treatment and disposal. There will also be extraction, treatment and disposal of contaminated ground water. The project is anticipated to last between 15 and 17 months.

Project Planning and Execution

PSE&G has conducted extensive investigations of the site in accordance with the regulations and oversight provided by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP). The investigation results have been provided to the NJDEP for their review and approval. A Remedial Action Work Plan, describing the method for the remediation of this property was submitted to the NJDEP in July 2012.

The first few weeks of work will focus on preparing the site, moving construction equipment into place and trailers to serve as temporary office space. The consulting firm ERM will provide engineering
oversight of the day-to-day operations of the project on behalf of PSE&G.

What You Can Expect To See

  • Installation of a Cofferdam to Stabilize the Site: The next step in the process will be to install a subsurface steel wall, known as a cofferdam, around the entire perimeter of the property. This will be done using low-frequency technology, to minimize noise. The purpose of the cofferdam is to support the excavation and protect surrounding utilities and structures. The cofferdam will be reinforced by an innovative method that will freeze the soil around the perimeter of the property. This frozen zone of soil provides outstanding structural support and will help to shorten the project schedule.
  • Establishment of a Water Treatment System: The contractor will then establish a temporary on site water treatment system for the removal of ground water from the site. As the excavation proceeds, ground water will be pumped through a series of on-site wells and treated on-site prior to being conveyed to the local sewer authority for additional treatment, in accordance with local permits.
  • Establishment of a Temporary Enclosure to Control Dust and Minimize Odors: To minimize the disturbances to residents and businesses, PSE&G plans to use a temporary enclosure to help contain dust and potential odors associated with the deep soil remediation activities from being detected off-site. Soils containing MGP-related materials sometimes have an odor similar to that of mothballs. These odors can be detected by the human nose at levels below what can be detected by an air monitoring instrument and well below what would be considered a health concern. The enclosure also will help minimize the noise and dust typically associated with a construction site. It will be removed after the remediation work is complete.
  • Trucks Carrying Clean and Treated Soil: Excavated soil will be loaded into trucks for transport to facilities where it will be treated and disposed. Trucks are covered and cleaned prior to leaving the site and will take a prescribed route through Hoboken that will be planned with the help of the City of Hoboken. We have recommended going north on Park Avenue to I-95. Trucks will not travel south of 12th Street. Approximately 35 trucks per day on average are expected during excavation and backfilling operations only.

Outreach to the Public and Coordination with the City of Hoboken

PSE&G will hold a series of meetings with local residents to explain the project and the steps that will be taken to minimize any inconveniences. The meetings will provide information on the project
such as:

– Site history and remediation goals;
– Project details and duration;
– Steps to protect the environment;
– Measures to protect health and safety;
– Steps to minimize offsite impacts including odors and traffic impacts; and,
– The company’s commitment to community outreach and communication.

The project success will require close coordination with the City of Hoboken and the residents in the area of the project. Critical aspects of this coordination with the City of Hoboken includes the
timely review and approval of local permits for the construction of the enclosure structures, waste water discharge permits, traffic plans and sidewalk closures. Weekly project updates will be provided
to the public and a toll-free phone number and website will be established for residents to interact with the project.

ANY QUESTIONS?

Call PSE&G direct at 888-574-4835 or via email at HobokenMGP@pseg.com.

21 Responses

  1. Tileman says:

    In the 50’s I lived at 1114 Park Ave.. Before going to work I would go to Grubes to get something for lunch. Ceramic tile was on the front o the store. If the tile needed repair Mr. Grube would ask me to fix it. When I finished he would ask “What do I owe you”, And my answer was “Two shrimp platters”.

  2. Hello123 says:

    I rent in a building across the street from this site. I am assuming the noise will get pretty loud but am more concerned about healthy/safety. Is it hazardous to be living in a building near a gas site?

  3. CATCH2014 says:

    -A Public Service Announcement from CATCH: Citizens Against The Construction-noise in HOBOKEN

    https://www.facebook.com/CATCH2014

  4. john14 says:

    This method of cleanup is the fastest and cleanest. Doing it any other way would take much longer (complaints) and be more noxious (complaints). They should be thankful as this is a very costly job. Did they also complain about the noise the street sweepers, plows and salt trucks made? :roll:

    • animal_lover says:

      J14, good one, as Hoboken has had little to no essential services in the last few months![quote comment=”222837″]This method of cleanup is the fastest and cleanest. Doing it any other way would take much longer (complaints) and be more noxious (complaints). They should be thankful as this is a very costly job. Did they also complain about the noise the street sweepers, plows and salt trucks made? [/quote]

    • CATCH2014 says:

      The street sweepers, plows and salt trucks were not outside the window 24 hours a day, 7 days a week…making noise as loud as jet engines. Have you watched the video? Have you listened to the ear piercing noises? Have you visited the site? If you answered no to any of these questions, then by making these statements, you’re just as ignorant and blinded as PSE&G.[quote comment=”222837″]This method of cleanup is the fastest and cleanest. Doing it any other way would take much longer (complaints) and be more noxious (complaints). They should be thankful as this is a very costly job. Did they also complain about the noise the street sweepers, plows and salt trucks made? [/quote]

  5. HomeTeam says:

    I’m missing something here, there is no noise in the first vid. It seems like the video confirms they aren’t starting before 8.

    • CATCH2014 says:

      The first video shows work being performed before 8am…(trucks onsite, construction workers onsite, etc)…however, it doesn’t capture the noises being generated by the AC Machines which are on the opposite side of the BIG WHITE TENT. The first video is shot from Grand Street…and the 2nd video is shot from Clinton Street showing the AC Machines. From the Grand Street perspective, the noise generated is not as loud as it is from the Clinton perspective. Does that make sense? The best way to really understand it is to actually visit the site and see for yourself…then you can make your own judgement. But without having all the facts and without knowing all the details, you can’t really make accurate comments until you’ve seen and heard and spoken with the people affected IN PERSON![quote comment=”222839″]I’m missing something here, there is no noise in the first vid. It seems like the video confirms they aren’t starting before 8.[/quote]

  6. CATCH2014 says:

    ISN’T IT TIME THE REAL TRUTH IS TOLD about PSE&G’s Hoboken Remediation Project — CLICK BELOW IF YOU WANT THE TRUTH!

    NOW – A MUST SEE! THIS NEW VIDEO SHOWS THE NOISE CREATED BY THESE AC MACHINES! Warning! This video is difficult to watch as it may be hard for you to listen to — HOWEVER – THIS IS WHAT WE HAVE TO LISTEN TO 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! This is NON-STOP! Hoboken is in a state of CRISIS with this disturbing and unnecessary noise! These monsters think its okay to allow this disgusting and disgraceful treatment occur to all the surrounding neighbors and homeowners. Fox Hills Senior Citizens Rental community is up in arms over this noise. There are octogenarians living in FOX HILLS with major health issues…now PSE&G is subjecting them to this horrible and incredibly cruel treatment? SHAME ON PSE&G! (And for those idiots who don’t know what an Octogenarian is – its a person whose age is in the eighties). THESE SENIORS CAN’T SLEEP AT NIGHT – SOME OF THEM SURVIVE ON OXYGEN – THIS IS HOW PSE&G WANTS THESE POOR SENIORS TO LIVE THEIR LAST DAYS – in distress? In an obnoxiously loud environment? HOBOKEN RESIDENTS deserve better! PSE&G has created turmoil amongst HOBOKENITES! We must stop them NOW!
    And – there are only a few AC machines turned on…CAN YOU IMAGINE WHEN ALL OF THEM ARE TURNED ON?!?!?!!!!
    THE NEXT COUNCIL MEETING IS Wednesday, April 2, 2014 at 7:00pm at Hoboken City Hall Court House – I URGE ANYONE SICK AND TIRED OF THIS DISPICABLE TREATMENT – PLEASE ATTEND THIS MEETING – VOICE YOUR OPINION TO PETER CUNNINGHAM AND LET HIM KNOW HOW ANGRY AND ANNOYED YOU ARE WITH PSE&G in allowing this disturbing NOISE TO CONTINUE THROUGHOUT THE EVENINGS!

    AND THIS IS FROM 10 FLOORS ABOVE GROUND LEVEL!

  7. animal_lover says:

    Yes sure, bunch of entitled people thinking they sure have quiet enjoyment of their own homes!

    Good luck with getting any type of response from Cunningham. All he cares about is his entitlements – Parking without getting towed, leaving his Burmese where ever he pleases, Council person salary and perks.

    • hoboken411 says:

      @animal – I was just sharing what some people in the neighborhood have said. But it begs an interesting question: What are your solutions for remediation? If those “AC freezers” need to run continuously to achieve the end results.. there is almost no way around it.

      But people like Cunningham won’t get involved for other reasons as well. First thought that comes to mind is “That be too difficult…” In other words, they’re a bunch of pussies who don’t want to ruffle feathers.

      • CATCH2014 says:

        Hoboken 411 hit the nail on the head…City Council members are afraid to stand up and do what’s right for the citizens of Hoboken! If these AC Machines need to be running throughout the evening and weekends, then PSE&G had every right to figure out a way to keep the noise from bothering the residents in the surrounding area! For heaven’s sake, they’re spending millions on this project…so throwing an extra 100K to contain the noise, to muffle the noise, put some kind of structure over the machines…something that doesn’t effect the residents and the senior citizens in the surrounding community. PSE&G has shown a complete lack of respect! The noises are out of control…and everyone knows it…but no one wants to stand up and take responsibility.[quote comment=”222842″]@animal – I was just sharing what some people in the neighborhood have said. But it begs an interesting question: What are your solutions for remediation? If those “AC freezers” need to run continuously to achieve the end results.. there is almost no way around it.But people like Cunningham won’t get involved for other reasons as well. First thought that comes to mind is “That be too difficult…” In other words, they’re a bunch of pussies who don’t want to ruffle feathers.[/quote]

  8. Frankie says:

    I can’t stand the sound of Mr. Softee, so I can imagine how they feel.

  9. CATCH2014 says:

    We (CATCH) think it’s important to have an OPEN discussion regarding issues like this…but it’s also important to have both sides of the story presented fairly. We think PSE&G are doing a fabulous job — SERIOUSLY — they are helping Hoboken to clean up…and I think that’s important…but at what cost to it’s citizens?…Well, according to Hoboken Ordinances — the cost is 8am to 6pm (which we fully support)…the cost is not 6pm to 8am…nor weekends, nor holidays. So, our point is…CATCH: Citizens Against The Construction-noise in Hoboken has NO ISSUES regarding construction when it’s performed WITHIN the LAWS and ORDINANCES set by the City Council of Hoboken! These laws and ordinances were put into place to protect the citizens of Hoboken. However, if these laws ordinances are broken for special interest groups and BIG BUSINESSES such as PSE&G, then it could set a precedence for other construction companies or other entities to break these laws and ordinances as well. Why is it okay for PSE&G to break the noise ordinances and not citizens? I encourage anyone who thinks CATCH: Citizens Against The Construction-noise in Hoboken is being self-righteous and feeling entitlement,…well, they should go to the corner of 13th and Clinton and listen to the noise…and try to have a conversation…YOU CAN’T! You can’t think, you can’t sleep, and all this noise is being generated 24 hours a day / 7 days a week in front of FOX HILLS Senior Center – there are old people in that building trying to live out their last few years in peace! PSE&G could have easily built a structure or a tent around the noise makers. To get the most accurate and up to date TRUTH about the PSE&G remediation project, I ask that you visit our page and Please click on the following link — and LIKE our page — https://www.facebook.com/catch2014

  10. HomeTeam says:

    I’d suggest getting hold of a digital decibel meter on Amazon($20-75) and start taking and logging sound measurements at key points in the day. Having these numbers will help your case more than just a video should you choose to start including OSHA and NJ OHS in your complaints. I would not bother with any Hoboken gov;t office, as has been mentioned earlier, they will not help you.

  11. CATCH2014 says:

    @CATCH2014 https://vimeo.com/90542555

    How loud is TOO loud?
    from Catch GrandStreet

    How loud is TOO loud?

    Well, according to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration — osha.gov/), exposure to high levels of noise can cause permanent hearing loss. Neither surgery nor a hearing aid can help correct this type of hearing loss. Short term exposure to loud noise can also cause a temporary change in hearing (your ears may feel stuffed up) or a ringing in your ears (tinnitus). These short-term problems may go away within a few minutes or hours after leaving the noise. However, repeated exposures to loud noise can lead to permanent tinnitus and/or hearing loss.
    Loud noise can create physical and psychological stress, reduce productivity, interfere with communication and concentration, and contribute to workplace accidents and injuries by making it difficult to hear warning signals. The effects of noise induced hearing loss can be profound, limiting your ability to hear high frequency sounds, understand speech, and seriously impairing your ability to communicate. (osha.gov/SLTC/noisehearingconservation/healtheffects.html)

    Exposure to Noise is measured in units of sound pressure levels called decibels, using an A-weighted sound levels (dBA). The A-weighted sound levels closely match the perception of loudness by the human ear. Decibels are measured on a logarithmic scale which means that a small change in the number of decibels results in a huge change in the amount of noise and the potential damage to a person’s hearing.

    Permissable Noise Exposures — The permissible exposure limit (PEL) for noise is 90 dBA,

    OSHA sets legal limits on noise exposure. OSHA’s permissible exposure limit (PEL) is 90 dBA. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has recommended that all noise should be controlled below a level equivalent to 85 dBA to minimize occupational noise induced hearing loss. NIOSH has found that significant noise-induced hearing loss occurs at the exposure levels equivalent to the OSHA PEL based on updated information obtained from literature reviews.

    What is noise?
    Noise and vibration are both fluctuations in the pressure of air (or other media) which affect the human body. Vibrations that are detected by the human ear are classified as sound. We use the term ‘noise’ to indicate unwanted sound.
    Noise and vibration can harm workers when they occur at high levels, or continue for a long time.

    OSHA Regional Office
    201 Varick Street, Room 670
    New York, New York 10014
    (212) 337-2378
    (212) 337-2371 FAX

    To get the most accurate and up to date TRUTH about the PSE&G remediation project, I ask that you visit our page and Please click on the following link — and LIKE our page — https://www.facebook.com/catch2014

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