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Massachusetts Electric Company seeks Corps permit to place fill to remediate gas plant site in Gloucester

Published Oct. 21, 2014

CONCORD, Mass. – The Massachusetts Electric Company, doing business as National Grid, is seeking a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District to conduct work in waters of the U.S. in conjunction with remediating a former gas plant site in Gloucester, Mass.


The Massachusetts Electric Company, of 40 Sylvan Road in Waltham, Mass., is proposing work, structures and the placement of fill material below the high tide line of waters of the U.S. in order to perform the former Gloucester Gas Light Company Manufactured Gas Plant Remediation Project in Gloucester. The work includes the mechanical dredging of a 7-acre area to depths of 3 to 27 feet below mean low water. Up to 30,000 cubic yards of sediment will be dredged and disposed of at an upland disposal facility. The material will be dewatered and mixed with a stabilizing agent prior to disposal.


Water collected from the material will be pumped to temporary storage tanks located within the water processing and storage area or on support barges. These liquids will either be transported to an off-site disposal facility or treated on site on support barges or within the water processing and storage area and discharged to either a water treatment facility or to surface water.


Following dredging, clean backfill material will be placed within a portion of the dredge footprint to restore some of the areas to existing grade and re-establish habitat. A porewater cap will be constructed in the nearshore area adjacent to the U.S. Coast Guard property, Solomon Jacobs Park, and the National Grid property to address impacted sediment porewater that has the potential to present a future risk to ecological receptors. Additionally, construction of a section of new seawall will be located seaward of the existing seawall in order to place fill necessary for source control as well as to provide seawall stability associated with dredging activities.


The project is intended to implement remedial actions that satisfy Massachusetts Contingency Plan required cleanup objectives for both upland and marine areas of the site.


The proposed project will impact approximately 7 acres of Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) for various species and life stages. Habitat at this site can be described as unvegetated substrate with some debris. Loss of this habitat may adversely affect these species. However, the Corps has made a preliminary determination that the site-specific adverse effect will not be substantial.  Further consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service regarding EFH conservation recommendations is being conducted and will be concluded prior to the final permit decision.


The public notice, with more specifics on the proposed work by the Massachusetts Electric Company, can be viewed on the Corps website at:  http://www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/PublicNotices.aspx.


The application for the federal permit was filed with the Corps in compliance with Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act, which provides for federal regulation of any work in, or affecting navigable waters of the United States; and with Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, which regulates the discharge or fill of material in U.S. waters, including wetlands. 


Public comments on this work proposed by the Massachusetts Electric Company (file # NAE-2011-2017) should be forwarded no later than Nov. 19, 2014 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Regulatory Division (ATTN: Kevin Kotelly), 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742-2751. Additional information is available from Permit Project Manager Kevin Kotelly at 978-318-8703 or toll free 800-343-4789 or 800-362-4367 (if calling from within Massachusetts) or by email to: kevin.r.kotelly@usace.army.mil.

Tim Dugan

Release no. 2014-134