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 ROCHESTER, N.Y., July 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Rochester Gas and

Electric Corporation (NYSE: RGS) (RG&E) today announced its plans to begin to remove coal tar residues this month from its old West Station, now part of Beebee Station. West Station was located on the west bank of the Genesee River at the base of the High Falls just below the Platt Street bridge in downtown Rochester.
 Since the facility is an active power station, public access to the site is not permitted by RG&E. The coal tar residues, buried on the site for many years, can be toxic but, since there is no contact by the public, there is little risk from its presence. The site has never been a Federal Superfund site, but was once part of the 340-acre Upper to Lower Falls inactive Hazardous Waste site. That entire site was delisted by the state in July, 1991. There are no government orders in effect for clean up at the site. RG&E's cleanup effort is voluntary and the company is working under permits from and with the knowledge and cooperation of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the Monroe County Departments of Health and Pure Waters and the City of Rochester.
 From 1916 through 1952 West Station was used to manufacture gas for customers. The gas was made by heating coal in the absence of air. From the ovens at West Station the gas was then pumped across the river to East Station through a 48-inch pipeline where it was purified and stored in large gas holders for delivery to gas customers.
 Coal byproducts such as coal tars, creosote and "bengas" (a low octane motor fuel) were used and sold in the years of gas manufacturing. Some byproducts, though, were not worth recovering. Some tar residues and "cooked" coal known as coke breeze, were deposited near the manufactured gas operations areas. At West Station an area of about three acres was used as a depository. The site is just south of the Platt Street bridge.
 In September of 1991, RG&E began a research and development project in conjunction with the Electric Power Research Institute. This and subsequent study provided a substantial amount of information about deposits at old West Station. With this information, RG&E voluntarily began constructing a comprehensive plan to remove the tar deposits from the three-acre site. It's estimated that as much as 7,000 cubic yards of tar and tar-laden soil may be in the site up to a depth of 16 feet.
 RG&E has contracted with Atlantic Environmental Services, Inc. and others for the excavations, removal of materials and environmentally safe transport and disposition. The materials removed will be transported by truck to a recycling facility in Fredericksburg, Va. where the substance will be thermally treated and reused as road building materials on an interstate highway project there.
 The excavations at the RG&E site will be backfilled with clean soil, capped with topsoil and seeded. Trees will be planted to replace those that will have to be removed for the excavation.
 "This is really a big step in our commitment to the community to clean up our properties where deposits from previous operations over the last 140 years may have accumulated and may one day represent a possible hazard," said RG&E chairman, president, and CEO Roger W. Kober. "We are dedicated to our long-range Environmental Excellence program that calls for us to systematically assess our properties in detail and to perform whatever actions are necessary to ensure a safe environment now as well as in the future," Kober said.
 The project is expected to cost $1.5 million and is scheduled to be completed in September of this year. RG&E is working with the Center for Environmental Information (CEI) locally to perform community outreach and supply information to the public on this project. Interested parties are encouraged to visit CEI at 46 Prince St., Rochester, N.Y. or call 716-271-3550.
 -0- 7/15/92
 /CONTACT: Richard C. Peck of Rochester Gas & Electric Corporation, 716-724-8813/
 (RGS) CO: Rochester Gas & Electric Corporation ST: New York IN: UTI SU:

BM -- CL014 -- 9625 07/15/92 14:17 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 15, 1992

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