Historical Features, Events, and Activities Taken into Account for Formulating a Phased Investigation and Remediation Approach for a Pennsylvania MGP Site


Historical Features, Events, and Activities Taken into Account for Formulating a Phased Investigation and Remediation Approach for a Pennsylvania MGP Site

Jason Speicher and Dan Kerr (FirstEnergy Corp./Met-Ed)



Jason Speicher

FirstEnergy Corp.

Speaker Bio:

Jason Speicher, M.B.A. is a senior scientist at FirstEnergy Corp., an investor-owned utility holding company for 10 electric delivery utilities, electrical transmission companies, and regulated and unregulated generation assets spanning OH, PA, NJ, MD, and WV.  He holds a B.A. in environmental sciences from Wesley College and a M.S. in business administration from Alvernia University.  Mr. Speicher has more than 19 years of experience in environmental site assessment, risk assessment, and remediation.  Primary areas of interest include MGP site assessment and remediation, sediment investigation and remediation, and use of innovative characterization and remediation technologies.  He is a member of the MGP Consortium, as well as a private industry representative on the Department of Defense’s SERDP/ESTCP contaminated sediment technical advisory committee.


The former Easton Manufactured Gas Plant (MGP) site is located within the city and historic district limits of Easton, PA.  The former plant facility was located on Snyder and North Green streets and produced gas from coal, oil and other feedstocks to service Easton’s and the surrounding area’s street lighting systems, home heating and cooking needs and industrial manufacturing (e.g. fed Bethlehem Steel).  In total, the former site only occupies 1.37 acres of which has undergone significant evolution during its time of operations.

The former MGP was operated by a predecessor company to Met-Ed from the 1890s until 1930, prior to the time Met-Ed took ownership.  The plant was then sold by Met-Ed to a third party in 1945, and records indicate that it was subsequently closed in 1954.  Up until recently, the property was privately owned and was purchased by Met-Ed in October 2012 for the purposes of investigating and remediating the property.

Since taking ownership in 2012, Met-Ed has undertaken a significant amount of onsite investigation following the guidance for PADEP’s Act II Program including:

•  In late 2012, a geophysical survey of the site was conducted to identify underground structures related to the former MGP operations as well as potential unrelated infrastructure, such as underground utilities.

•  In early 2013, site investigation work began. These activities included the collection and analysis of soil samples and the installation of groundwater monitoring wells to enable future groundwater testing.

•  Site investigation work continued over the course of 2014-2016. This work consisted of supplemental soil sampling work, ground water monitoring, and the installation of additional groundwater monitoring wells. Additionally, test pits were excavated at various locations across the property to locate historic structures and begin planning for their future removal. A geotechnical assessment of the retaining wall along the Bushkill Creek was also conducted to determine future stabilization plans.

In 2016, Met-Ed started its phased approach for remediating and moving the site towards eventual integration into the local redevelopment that has been spurred in the downtown area of Easton over the last several years.  The first phase, which concluded in April of 2017, included removing a lot of historic infrastructure, along with surrounding MGP-impacted soils, within the first 6 feet across the site. The first phase targeted 0.9 acres of the site and involved removing multiple building structures. Removal of these structures required approval from the Easton Historic District. In addition, the contents of a 23-ft deep former gas holder heavily impacted with coal tars, and a former underground storage tank motor fuel system used by the previous owner, were removed in their entirety.

The history of the former MGP site has played a significant role in completing investigative work to date, planning/completing remediation, understanding potential site challenges, and consideration of historical preservation.  Such history that has been carefully researched and examined include:

•  Evolution of site operations and configurations

•  Catastrophic events that have already happened and could happen again

•  Development around the site that has led to current site configuration and influence observances of infrastructure

•  Historic features that could impact stabilization plans


To view the full Agenda for MGP 2017 view this link:


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