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Mobile Gas Hosts Open House on former Manufactured Gas Plant

Posted January 4, 2016

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Mobile Gas has entered the remediation phase of the voluntary cleanup project for its former manufactured gas plant (MGP).  This comes after more than five years of related testing and analysis at the property, as advised by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management’s Voluntary Cleanup Program.

In the early 1800’s Mobile Gas operated on a site that manufactured gas through a process of heating coal and oil in enclosed ovens and extracting gas for use in lighting and cooking.  When Mobile Gas moved its location more than 80 years ago, some of chemical compounds to manufacture gas were still left on the vacant property, which caused great concern to nearby residents and businesses.

Technical and community advisory groups were organized to help analyze data, calm community fears concerning the testing methods and results, and be the representatives on behalf of the company. The goal was to make sure key stakeholders and nearby residents were staying informed about each step of the cleanup process.

Peter Keegan, director of engineering for Mobile Gas, has been working on the former MGP site project for more than 20 years.

“This has been a long process, but we wanted to do our due diligence in making sure that we had the best team of experts to test and identify any chemical of concerns and give us the best recommendations on how to proceed to the next step,” said Keegan. “Everything we have done to get to this point has been within the state guidelines and we are pleased that this will soon be complete.”

Most recently, Mobile Gas held a community open house meeting inviting everyone who had an interest in the cleanup of the property.  During the meeting, the public learned about the company’s efforts to comply with state standards and guidelines to test the property, what methods are going to be used for remediation and the plans to turn the property into a passive greenspace for the community to enjoy.

“We envision that the passive greenspace will include several benches, walking trails, oak trees and gas lamps,” said Kesshia Davis, director of marketing and community relations for Mobile Gas.  “The former MGP site sits adjacent to a community college, shopping area, residential community and a thriving downtown. The passive greenspace will allow everyone visiting the area to enjoy the sights and sounds of our wonderful city.”

Mobile Gas plans to complete the remediation phase of the project within the next six months.  The goal is to have the passive greenspace ready for the community by September 2016 to coincide with the company’s 180th anniversary.

*Pictured above: Director of Engineering & MGP Project Manager, Peter Keegan – discusses the passive greenspace planned design for the former MGP site with an open house attendee.