Remediation is an ongoing concern for many major communities across the nation. Cleaning up the environmental damage done by years of abuse by unknowing or uncaring corporations is costing local governments and industries billions of dollars. Yet, the remediation process would be much harder and costly without the use of temporary enclosures for remediation.
The recently completed project by the Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) of New Jersey featured a huge temporary enclosure that covered the remediation site. This site, which was formerly the Hoboken Gas Works MGP (Manufactured Gas Plant) and operated between 1871 and 1946, had a heavy environmental footprint of toxic waste that included coal tar.
PSE&G spent 18 months cleaning up the site and removing the toxic soil to proper disposal sites without causing a spill or pollution in the neighborhoods surrounding the site.
The Hoboken Gas Works MGP
Before natural gas was used as a heating and energy source, many cities across the country had manufactured gas plants. These plants created gas by cooking coal in special vats. The gas generated was used for power production but coal tar was created as a waste product from the process.
The specific facility in Hoboken was used for 75 years, creating a massive amount of waste which contaminated the soil under the plant. Although PSE&G, the descendant of Hoboken Gas Works, doesn’t own the property. New Jersey law makes them responsible for the $30 million plus project.
The uses of temporary enclosures for remediation
Central to the project was the use of temporary enclosures for remediation. This massive fabric structure was the size of a sports arena and was necessary to keep coal tar fumes from spreading across the bordering residential neighborhoods. Excavation and backfilling of the site was all done under the fabric structure.
“The enclosure uses a ‘negative-pressure’ air system that draws air into the tent. The air inside the structure is then treated through a series of filters and an activated carbon system, and then tested prior to being vented outside,” a spokesperson for PSE&G said. “The ‘negative pressure’ system ensures that both dust and odors are contained within the enclosure when trucks and personnel enter and exit.”
The massive size of the structure was necessary to keep pollutants from spreading from the remediation site. It also highlights the flexibility of temporary enclosures for remediation design in projects that, even a decade ago, would have been considered too large and complex for a fabric structure.
Remediation site enclosures can be equipped with all of the safety features a cleanup site needs
From our article here about remediation site enclosures.
Problems with the remediation
During the remediation process, residents of the neighboring areas complained about excess noise and disruption of their daily routines, but there were no reports of toxic waste getting away from the remediation site. Although noise pollution was a concern, PSE&G had a plan to minimize the impact it would have.
The larger concern was, of course, the coal tar pollution. Noxious smells and material was contained within the temporary enclosures for remediation. The project took 18 months and, according to PSE&G the pollution has been removed. A housing development will soon begin on the site.
Cleaning up the country
The massive Hoboken remediation was more proof that these large-scale remediation projects can be accomplished without toxic gasses and waste escaping from the confines of temporary enclosures for remediation. Advances in material and construction methods have made these fabric enclosures the perfect solution for remediation projects when the concern of further pollution exists.
Modularity allows them to be built to cover the size of the specific site, while the additions of negative air pressure systems keep pollutants inside the structure. Workers can remove as much of the soil as necessary (the Hoboken project removed 30 feet of contaminated soil) and truck it out of the enclosure to proper disposal sites.
Sites that were too polluted, or polluted by waste that could spread contaminates through airborne means, are now able to be repurposed for living space or other uses. If it were not for the advances in temporary enclosures for remediation, these spaces would remain unusable and unsafe.
Allsite Structure Rentals provides temporary enclosures for remediation that are ideal for containing odor, dust, noise, and other disruptions from contaminated areas. Contact us now for more information on how our fabric structures can aid remediation solutions.