Future Site of Queens Public Library Receives Certificate of Completion from NYSDEC
VeruTEK Technologies, Inc., a provider of green chemistry technologies for environmental remediation, has successfully cleaned up a New York City brownfield in Queens, having been issued a Certificate of Completion by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC).
The site, along the East River in Hunters Point, will be the future home of a new branch of the Queens Public Library (pictured) and will also house a ranger station for the New York State Parks Department.
The Queens Library Board of Trustees has approved the design, done by a collaboration of noted architect Steven Holl and Chris McVoy. The building's giant, free-form windows will be carved from an 80-foot rectangular facade, marking a striking contrast to the city's existing, and aging, libraries, while taking advantage of a fantastic view of Manhattan. The 21,000-square-foot building is expected to reach completion by late 2013.
Arana Hankin, President of Queens West Development Corporation, the New York State public authority responsible for the development of the Queens West project, said, "Issuance of a Certificate of Completion for this brownfield site is an exciting milestone in the redevelopment of Queens waterfront property. We look forward to beginning the next phase of redevelopment, construction by the City of New York of a state-of-the art public library on the site, which was cleaned up with virtually no disruption to the community."
VeruTEK implemented its Surfactant-enhanced In Situ (underground) Chemical Oxidation, or S-ISCO technology at this former industrial site to remediate contamination from coal repurposed from manufactured gas plants for use in production of roofing products. The underground injections treated more than 50,000 pounds of coal tar by destroying 90 percent of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and BTEX compounds, including naphthalene.
Steven E. Panter, CGWP, senior consultant with Fleming Lee Shue, employed the firm's patent-pending RemMetrik process to treat the site. A critical component in site clean-up, his remediation design and methodology targets the contaminant mass and promotes treatment at the pore-scale level utilizing Primawave Technology from Wavefront Technology Solutions, Inc.
This is the first time a green chemistry solution has been utilized to remediate MGP-related contamination in New York City, and could set the standard in the use of innovative technologies in the State's Brownfield Cleanup Program.
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S-ISCO is a low-impact solution that destroys contamination in place, avoiding digging and hauling truckloads of contaminated soil, thereby preserving the stability of the surface and existing buildings on adjacent parcels. Preparing the site for safe and productive reuse too place during just five months, and was done without disturbing the community or exposing it to dust, debris or elevated emissions.
Arnold Fleming, president of Fleming Lee Shue, a New York City-based environmental management and consulting company which was commissioned to manage the cleanup effort, said, "We were very impressed with the results of VeruTEK’s S-ISCO technology implementation. Compared to full-scale excavations conducted on similar nearby sites, VeruTEK’s remedy not only reduced the project cost by over $5 million dollars but also avoided the release of dust and odor, prevented disruption to the community, and reduced the carbon footprint of the clean-up. The project was done cost effectively, completed on-time, under-budget and resulted in a Certificate of Completion."
Fleming Lee Shue and VeruTEK completed the cleanup of Parcel 8 in just 14 months from start of treatment and exceeded goals for the project by completing groundwater cleanup to state standards, removing 47,000 pounds of contaminant coal tar from the former roofing manufacturer's waterproofing process, and more than 90 percent mass reduction of principal contaminants like benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylenes and naphthalene.
Editor's Note: A description of Panter's RemMetrik process was inadvertently left out of the original release of this article, which has been updated to include additional information on the remedial design.