The Goudey Power Station site, also known as the AES
Westover Electrical Power Generating Station, is the location of a former
coal-fired electric generating facility that operated from approximately 1917 until
2011 when it was closed by AES Eastern Energy, LP (AES) during its Chapter 11
bankruptcy proceeding. At that time, the 33-acre site contained over 20
buildings or structures. The site was transferred to GMMM Holdings Corporation
in 2012, and other related entities, while the facility sat idle and
unmaintained for more than a decade.
The site has been the subject of unpermitted and/or improper
demolition and salvage operations beginning in 2021. A fire occurred at the
facility in February 2023 as a result of a metal salvaging operation in which a
torch ignited petroleum on-site. The fumes from the fire were reported by local
residents which led to a response from local emergency responders. The event
precipitated a report to the National Response Center, a response by New York
State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), stop work orders from
state and local authorities, and a referral to EPA to evaluate the site under
the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act
(CERCLA), or Superfund.
On May 18, 2023, an EPA On-Scene Coordinator inspected the
site and reviewed site documents. Based on that inspection and review of
information, EPA requested on May 25 that the property owner take specific
steps to mitigate the release of asbestos at the site. DEC also began addressing petroleum releases
at the site in May.
EPA requested that the property owner secure the site to
reduce possible risks to the community until the site can be properly cleaned
up. The owner placed a few asbestos warning signs around the property but did
not repair the fencing or secure an asbestos abatement contractor to undertake
the needed work.
EPA collected samples from on-site roadways in July 2023
which identified the presence of asbestos. These roadways are regularly accessed
by New York State Electric and Gas (NYSEG) and Johnson City municipal
workers. Based on the potential exposure
of these workers to asbestos, EPA began an emergency removal action at the site
on August 4, 2023.
The objectives of the removal action are to:
- Restrict access to the site by repairing perimeter fences;
- Define the area of contamination using signs to communicate the presence of asbestos; and
- Contain further spread of asbestos by creating and covering debris piles, applying sealant material to encapsulate asbestos-containing debris, and establishing containment where asbestos has become exposed to the environment as a result of recent demolition.
EPA expects this work will be completed by the end of the 2023 calendar year.
Additional information is available in the September 2023 Community Update.
For more information about the history and legacy of contamination at the Goudey Power Station site: Press Sun & Bulletin (11/15/21): Goudey Station in Westover leaves a legacy of electrical pioneering, environmental issues