Susan Campriello • Poughkeepsie Journal
May 30, 2010
Glenham – The red-brick buildings on the former Texaco Beacon Research Center campus have been stripped of their light bulbs, thermostats and other hazardous materials, said Mark Hendrickson, Chevron Environmental Management Company project manager of a demolition project at the campus.
Workers have begun removing asbestos from the buildings and, said Craig Butler, a senior project manager with environmental contractor Parsons, they will begin tearing down 43 of the campus’s 64 buildings in early June. Workers will start tearing down the buildings beginning with the textile-mill building on the south side of the campus adjacent to the Fishkill Creek and move north as the project continues, Butler said.
Buildings will come down piece by piece, he said.
By December, only those buildings’ slabs will remain and testing for possible contamination below their foundations can begin, Butler said.
Groundwater and soil contaminated by petroleum hydrocarbons and metals have been identified on the site, but Chevron does not know what, if any, contamination is present under the buildings’ foundations, Butler said.
“That’s the one missing piece of the puzzle,” he said.
He and Hendrickson said future use of the site has not been determined but could be as Chevron drafts a clean-up plan for the site, which Butler said could happen next year. Regulatory agencies and the public will evaluate the cost and feasibility of a plan first, he said.
“The ultimate goal on this site is to get clean closure, which means that soil and groundwater and everything is fully acceptable for all purposes,” Butler said.
Slab removal and the demolition of most of the site’s remaining 21 buildings could take place in 2014, Hendrickson and Butler said. Those buildings, which include a wastewater treatment facility and warehouses, may remain in use throughout the project, they said.
Texaco ran a research center at the site between 1931 and 2003. Chevron acquired Texaco in 2000.
Wappinger resident Kathy Hayden, a technician there for several years and whose daughter works on the site as an intern with Parsons, said she’s sorry to see what she called a beautiful campus go.
“It’s sad, it really is,” Hayden said.
Fishkill resident Ori Brachfeld said he thought the campus would make a good setting for a technical school because of its laboratories and other appropriate facilities.
Hendrickson said Chevron had considered selling the campus to a school, but developers indicated that reusing the site in that way would not be practical. The buildings have not been heated since 2003, Hendrickson said, and do not comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“There would have to be a lot of work done to bring them up to code,” he said.
During the demolition, silt fences will keep sediment from reaching the Fishkill Creek, Butler said, and water from the creek will be sprayed on debris as the buildings are torn down to prevent dust from filling the air.
Air monitors will be relocated as the work moves around the site and the winds change direction, said Steve Carne, a site safety manager with demolition contractor Brandenburg.
Demolition work will continue between 7 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays. During that time a maximum of 10 trucks an hour will haul away materials that can’t be recycled, Butler said. Structural steel, brick and concrete will be recycled or reused, he said.
He and Hendrickson said Chevron would continue environmental monitoring after the demolition work was completed and the company and its contractors would be in contact with town and emergency responders throughout the duration of the project.
Reach Susan Campriello at firstname.lastname@example.org or 845-451-4518.