VeruTEK Uses Green Technology to Decontaminate Brownfield in Queens

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) has awarded VeruTEK Technologies, Inc. the Certificate of Completion (COC) for the successful cleanup of a brownfield located along the East River in Hunters Point, Queens. The [...]

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) has awarded VeruTEK Technologies, Inc. the Certificate of Completion (COC) for the successful cleanup of a brownfield located along the East River in Hunters Point, Queens. The site will soon see the development of a new branch of the Queens Public Library and a New York State Parks ranger station.

By using its patented Surfactant-enhanced In Situ Chemical Oxidation (S-ISCO®) technology, VeruTEK eliminated the risk of contamination from coal tar re-purposed from Manufactured Gas Plants (MGPs) in the production of roofing products.

According to an official statement from VeruTEK, this is the first time a green chemistry solution of this kind has been implemented to correct a MGP-related contamination in New York City. Selected by New York-based environmental management and consulting company Fleming Lee Shue, VeruTEK’s S-ISCO technology reduced the project cost by over $5 million while avoiding the release of dust and odor and reducing the carbon footprint of the cleanup.

VeruTEK’s innovative brownfield treatment took five months to complete without disturbing the community or damaging the adjacent buildings and resulted in a fully recovered site ready for reuse. More than 50,000 pounds of coal tar were treated with S-ISCO injections that destroyed in place over 90 percent of the combined polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene (BTEX) compounds, including naphthalene.

The project designed by Steven Holl Architects has already been OK’d by the Queens Public Library Board. According to the architect’s website, the 21,000-square-foot development is set for completion by late 2013 and will include a children’s area, a teen area, a cybercenter, a conference room and outdoor amphitheater. In order to underline the Public Library’s commitment to sustainability, the new structure will incorporate green features such as geothermal heating and rooftop photovoltaic cells that would provide 10 percent of the building’s power.

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Photo credits VeruTEK and Steven Holl Architects