Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Local News

July 8, 2014

Planning board approves NYSE&G control house

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — The city Planning Board gave the go-ahead to New York State Electric & Gas Corp. to replace the existing 22-by-30-foot control house at LaGrange and Transit streets with a modernized control house and lighting and communication mast tower.

The new control house will be a 22-by-30-foot pre-fabricated building and the tower will stand 70 feet tall, a NYSE&G spokesman told the board Monday.

Work began this past February to remediate the electric substation. To get at coal tar contamination, NYSE&G workers are excavating the substation lot and a portion of Lagrange down to bedrock. LaGrange is closed between South Transit and Saxton streets while the work is done.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation said the work is necessary because coal tar — a thick, liquid byproduct of coal distillation (which turns coal into gas) — has migrated north toward Genesee Street and has started seeping into the Erie Canal. The substation lot was the site of a residential/commercial gas producer from the 1850s until 1927.

The cleanup, which was estimated to take 18 months, is ahead of schedule, according to Paul Corney, NYSE&G operations supervisor.

“Everything is going good,” he said.

As remediation efforts continue, NYSE&G plans to remove its old system and bring in new equipment, including new circuit breakers, a station server and a smaller transformer.

“Although this is a separate project, we work hand-in-hand,” said Gary Palumbo of project engineer URS Corporation. “As the site is being cleaned up, the new equipment can go in.”

Corney said the current control house has an older system and equipment that dates back to the 1950s and 1960s.

“We're taking advantage of the remediation project to upgrade things to today's standards,” he said, adding that the new equipment will be “state of the art.”

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