Manufactured Gas Plant Remediation

O6 Environmental provides end-to-end Manufactured Gas Plant Remediation services, guiding clients from initial strategic planning through to the final excavation, ensuring thorough decontamination and site transformation for future use.

O6 Environmental provides end-to-end Manufactured Gas Plant Remediation services, guiding clients from initial strategic planning through to the final excavation, ensuring thorough decontamination and site transformation for future use.

What Are Manufactured Gas Plants?

Manufactured Gas Plants (MGP) were once a common feature of American cities. They operated by heating coal, oil, or wood in closed containers called retorts until their hydrocarbon chains “cracked” and released combustible gas. Thousands of plants were constructed during the 19th and 20th centuries. Nearly every town in the country relied on them to power their homes and streets.

However, with the introduction of natural gas, MGPs began to decline. Natural gas was easier to extract and burned cleaner than manufactured gas. Most MGPs were decommissioned between 1930 and 1960, though a few continued operating until the 1990s. These plants were normally constructed on the outskirts of town, but due to urban expansion, most are now located in the inner city.

Manufactured gas produces a large amount of hazardous wastes resistant to decay, such as coal tar and toxic chemicals containing petroleum hydrocarbons, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, benzene, cyanide, metals, and phenols. Because these substances are heavier than water, they filter down through the topsoil and water table until they strike bedrock. In some instances, the waste spreads out through the surrounding area, far beyond the original site.

excavators digging at MGP site

Removal, Treatment, and Containment

excavators removing material at MGP site

MGP and their dump sites pose a serious risk to the public, given that the majority are located in neighborhoods and commercial districts prime for redevelopment. Residents can come into contact with contaminated surface water and sediment, while workers can be exposed to subsurface tar while digging footings.

O6 bases its remediation strategies on advanced field work produced by investigative consultants. Once they’ve determined the size and volume of the contaminated area, as well as the substances present, we implement our solution. Experience helps us anticipate the nature of the work, foresee problems, and identify the most effective action to expedite the removal, stabilization, and disposal of hazardous materials.

Depending on the scope of the project and contaminants identified, we utilize several different methods to treat MGP wastes:

Source Removal

Contaminated soil is dug up and transported from the site to a designated landfill.

In-Situ Stabilization

Deep deposits are mixed with chemical binders to solidify or immobilize contaminants instead of removing them.

Thermal Treatment

Heaters encased in steel pipes are inserted into the contaminated area, heating the soil until all hazardous materials have been vaporized or destroyed. The resulting gas is siphoned up and piped to a treatment center for neutralization.


When extensive subsurface contamination makes excavation too dangerous or impractical, wastes are capped to prevent hazardous vapors from rising to the surface or rainwater from penetrating polluted soil. Caps range from simple concrete or asphalt caps to multi-layered systems of soils and geosynthetics. Containment is the preferred method when wastes are above the groundwater table.

Regulatory Compliance

In order to ensure your site complies with applicable standards, criteria, and guidelines, our teams are in constant communication with our environmental consultants and partners, who work closely with our engineers as we implement our remediation plans, allowing them to collect, compile, and evaluate data with greater speed and accuracy.

Regulatory agencies rely on this information to determine whether to issue a “No Further Action” letter, certifying that all hazardous materials in the dig site have been safely removed or contained and releasing the property owner from any further liability.

Call O6 Environmental for Manufactured Gas Plant Remediation

excavators removing material at MGP site

O6 Environmental, with a distinguished history of over 30 successful engagements in manufactured gas plant (MGP) sites, is equipped to manage projects of varying complexity, including those requiring intricate Earth Retention Systems or operations under Temporary Enclosure Structures.

Whether in a rural district or a densely populated urban area, our expertise and resources are geared to efficiently remove and contain waste from MGPs. Our profound knowledge of MGP processes, operations, and by-products empowers us to devise and execute solutions that effectively mitigate health and environmental hazards, facilitating safe redevelopment.

We are committed to addressing the toughest challenges, ensuring our approach is tailored to the unique demands of each site. Every phase of excavation and treatment is meticulously overseen, aligning with local, state, and federal regulations. Contact us to discover how our extensive experience and adaptive solutions can be applied to your project, adding to our ongoing legacy of excellence in MGP site remediation.

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