Michael Woyton • Poughkeepsie Journal
April 18, 2010
Fishkill – Work will soon begin at the former Texaco Beacon Research Center to demolish buildings so contamination at the site can be assessed and removed.
Mark Hendrickson, project manager for Chevron Environmental Management Co., said 43 of the site’s 64 buildings will be taken down to their foundations after asbestos remediation is completed.
“The site is inactive, and we would like to put it back to productive use,” he said.
The former research center is in the Fishkill hamlet of Glenham.
A textile mill was built on the site in 1811. It closed in 1875 due to financial hardship, but reopened u nder new owners. That business closed its doors in 1929.
Texaco purchased the property in 1931, renovating the former mill to become a crude oil refining research facility.
Expansion, including above-ground storage tanks, took place until 1980. Texaco and Chevron merged in 2001.
At its peak, the center employed about 1,200 people.
A decrease in research activities led to the closure of the facility in 2003. The storage tanks were demolished the same year.
Hendrickson said a lot of investigation into contamination has been done over the years.
“Basically, under the (foundation) slabs are some of the last remaining places to look,” he said.
Once the structures are demolished, Hendrickson said, technicians will drill through the concrete slabs to sample the soil underneath.
More trucks on road
The company held a public meeting Tuesday, attended by about 75 people, to discuss the work at the center.
“There will be an expectation of additional trucks on the roads,” Hendrickson said, as well as noise and dust on the site.
He said water will be used to wet structures down in order to keep the dust at bay.
The runoff from that process will be contained, Hendrickson said. Building debris will be recycled as much as possible, with the remainder sent to Pennsylvania landfills.
Fishkill Deputy Supervisor Steve Ferguson said the town has long known there were problems with contamination at the research center.
“Back when they started, it was legal to bury the stuff,” he said. “But they’ve already cleaned up what they buried.”