About the Clifton former MGP Site

The Clifton former Manufactured Gas Plant (MGP) Site is located in Rosebank section of Staten Island, on two parcels at 25 and 40 Willow Avenue totaling approximately 3 acres. Willow Avenue divides the parcels, which front along Bay Street. The main operations were conducted between approximately 1857 and the early 1950’s at 25 Willow Avenue, a large gas holder and related operations were located at 40 Willow. The surrounding area is urban, and land use is mostly commercial and residential with some light industry.

Construction of the former MGP began around 1850 and the plant began production in April of 1857.  Throughout the operating life of the plant, the majority of operations were located on the 25 Willow Avenue parcel.  Sometime prior to 1917, the plant expanded to the 40 Willow Avenue parcel with the addition of Relief Holder No. 2.  Between 1937 and 1950, minor expansions occurred on both parcels.

In the mid-1950’s, Richmond County Gas Company determined to stop using the facility as an MGP. Brooklyn Union (a predecessor to KeySpan and National Grid) acquired the site and its facilities in 1957, dismantled the MGP facility, and began using a portion of the site (west of Willow Avenue, now OU-2) as a service center for a portion of its vehicle fleet and as a pipe yard, and another portion (on the east side of Willow Avenue, now OU-1) as a gate station to monitor gas distribution as well as a parking area for employee vehicles. To use the site as a service center, in addition to the service building covering some of the site, some of the property west of Willow Avenue was covered with asphalt to provide parking.

In 1994, BU determined to close most of the service center facility, as it was no longer necessary to maintain a large operation for the company’s needs. Most of the OU-2 site was then leased to a Saturn dealership. KeySpan terminated the lease without penalty in the early 2000’s and the parcel has remained vacant with the unused building ever since.

Following completion of the initial phase of the Remedial Investigation (RI), the two parcels were identified as distinct Operable Units for the purposes of further investigations and remediation, each with unique and separate issues.   OU-1 constitutes the former holder area at 40 Willow Avenue, OU-2 is the former main site at 25 Willow Avenue. There are also two offsite areas that have been subject to Supplemental Remedial Investigations  - a privately-owned property at 89 Willow Avenue at which an Interim Remedial Measure has been completed, and a property at 1 Edgewater Plaza at which contaminants associated with the former MGP operations have been identified in that property’s parking lot.

The Remedial Investigation, conducted under the oversight of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, determined the presence of potentially hazardous materials on the site associated with former MGP operations; and some of these materials are found offsite.  These include such contaminants usually associated with former MGP operations as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes (BTEX) and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs).

Extensive testing performed to date does not show site related impacts to drinking water supplies, which are provided entirely through the City of New York’s water system. There are no indications that indoor air in structures on or near the site has been impacted.