PLAINFIELD, NJ - Businesses and residents in the Plainfield downtown area will see a lot of activity come the new year.  Representatives from PSE&G appeared before the City Council on Dec. 4 to give a brief presentation on the proposed soil remediation project that is slated to begin.

The contaminated site is located along East Fourth St. between Watchung and Roosevelt avenues, and is currently a parking lot for the police department and municipal offices. According to PSE&G, the lot was once the location of a facility known as Plainfield Gas Works, owned by a predecessor of PSE&G. The facility was a manufactured gas plant (MGP) that ended operations in 1926.

Generally the four phase project will begin with the extraction of soil from 10 to 13 feet below the surface to the bedrock, stabilization of the soil below, and backfilled with clean soil. The project is anticipated to begin in January 2019, and will last for 12 to 16 months, with work hours limited to weekdays. PSE&G indicated that the primary goal is to ensure minimal disruption to the employees in the area, as well as public safety, and a full time safety officer will be present throughout the duration of the project.

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The site will be fenced to prevent public access and contact with the contamination. Misting will be used to minimize dust, and for odor control, and weekly air quality testing will be conducted with results posted.

PSE&G has taken numerous steps to inform the public of the project, beginning with written notices to residents and business in the areas and a community meeting held on Oct. 17 to introduce the development team.  Other steps have included a dedicated website with up-to-date project information, and the establishment of a community information phone line and email for the public to utilize.

Visit the website for more information:

According to PSE&G, the site will be refilled with clean soil, and the parking lots, street and sidewalks will be replaced, including the replanting of new trees, landscaping and lighting.

Council members raised questions regarding air quality control and runoff into the water drainage system, and were assured that with the remediation the ground water will resolve itself naturally.

Councilman Cory Storch noted that the remediation will open up development opportunities for the site later given the proximity to the train station.

According the PSE&G website, the remediation of the soil will be performed in accordance with New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) regulations, and guidance with oversight provided by a Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP).