Kristine Coulter • Southern Dutchess News
June 2, 2010
GlenhamL – Work has begun at the former Texaco Beacon Research Center in Glenham, a hamlet of Fishkill. Chevron officials held a two-and-a-half-hour open house and public information session for residents at the Slater Chemical Firehouse last week. The asbestos removal process has begun, according to Chevron officials.
“Brandenburg (Industrial Service Company) is performing the asbestos removal, soft demolition, and building removal activities and we anticipate having the majority of the site buildings removed by the end of the year,” Mark Hendrickson, site project manager for Chevron, recently remarked.
Brandenburg Industrial Services Company, which is a Specialty contractor, is mobilizing the site, he said.
“Brandenburg was selected based on their excellent safety record and their extensive experience in successfully completing large scale building demolition projects, similar to the work planned for the Chevron Beacon facility this year,” Hendrickson said.
The Texaco Research Center operated from 1931 – 2003. Many of the 64 buildings were used as laboratories, engine testing rooms, and office space, according to company officials. Chevron acquired Texaco in 2001 and currently owns the property.
Hendrickson explained the removal process in several steps, which consists of: Universal waste removal (removal of Fluorescent lights, light ballasts, thermostats), asbestos waste removal, soft demolition (removal of drywall, carpeting). The last stage is the building removal, said Hendrickson.
“Universal Wastes and approximately 45 percent of the asbestos has been removed from the buildings. Soft demolition has just begun in a few of the buildings and, at this time, no buildings have been removed,” Hendrickson said. He remarked there have been “no unusual complications” with the asbestos removal.
“We have occasionally discovered previously unidentified asbestos containing material (ACM), such as floor tiles hidden under several layers of flooring materials, but these materials have been quickly characterized and managed,” he explained.
The work that is currently going on, is the removal of the lowest slab in order for the soil beneath the slabs to be assessed, he added.
“A second phase of building removal, to remove most of the few remaining site buildings and remaining building slabs, is anticipated to take place in a couple of years,” stated Hendrickson.
Hendrickson continued that the building removal is “green demolition,” which is brick and concrete will be left on the site to be reused as fill. That eliminates the need to landfill the materials and minimizes truck traffic, he said.
Residents that attended the meeting, said Hendrickson, were concerned about aspects of building demolition work and site environmental conditions, such as dust generation and suppression, air monitoring, environmental sampling, and the state regulatory process for investigating and cleaning up the property were addressed.
“The two phases of building removal, coordination with Town and County for municipal services and emergency response, and site contact information were also discussed,” stated Hendrickson.
“Chevron’s focus has been, and will continue to be, the health and safety of the community. Our intent is to conduct the building removal in a way that minimizes impact to the local community and is done in an environmentally responsible way,” said Hendrickson. “We look forward to the completion of this work because it will allow us to perform additional environmental site assessment, a necessary step for preparing the site for future use,” he said.
Hendrickson also said Chevron’s goal is to complete the work on this project with the “least possible impact to the surrounding community.”
Extensive plans and preparations were made for the project with the intent to minimize the potential for encountering any unexpected items and to address any contingencies that may occur, said Hendrickson.
“The work being conducted is under the oversight of various entities, including the Town of Fishkill, the New York State Department of Labor, and the New York State Department of Conservation. Chevron intends to meet or exceed all regulatory requirements and expectations,” said Hendrickson.