PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Conservation Commission on Thursday approved the demolition of General Electric Building 65 at 375 Newell St.
Due to the pollution of the site with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), it was adopted on the condition that erosion control measures be used in the form of straws.
The 20,000 square foot structure across from the Berkshire Innovation Center was once used for manufacturing. It was brought before the commission because the property borders the Housatonic River and is prone to flooding.
After demolition, the site will be unused and a future plan to cover it with topsoil and grass has been approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the State Department of Environmental Protection. .
“It’s a slab-on-grade building, it’s one story, it’s surrounded by concrete and asphalt with vegetated areas to the north, west and south,” the GE rep said. , Matthew Calacone.
“The project is to demolish the building to ground level, there will be no ground disturbance and that’s it. All material will be shipped off-site to an out-of-state landfill.”
Commissioner Jonathan Lothrop pointed to the contaminated nature of the plot and asked if the concrete slab under the building would remain. He also advocated for containment of the area during demolition to prevent any migration of dirt.
“Obviously we all understand the legacy of this site and the relative contamination that exists in the region generally,” Lothrop said.
Calacone assured him that the slab will remain and will not be disturbed.
“Being a completely above ground level structure, it is an above ground level project, the building is mostly steel and the roof is foam, a few layers of different materials, the roofing is not not asbestos, so the first part of the project will be to remove the exterior panels of the building intact, these will be removed manually,” he explained.
“And then the remaining superstructure, the steel, is going to be dismantled using traditional demolition techniques, excavators and so on, there are no storm drains present in the area, and as I I said the surrounding area is asphalt and concrete so there doesn’t seem to be the potential for anything to run or go anywhere during the project, the contractor will use road clearing techniques dust if necessary, basically with a steel structure, we don’t expect a lot of dust, but they will use water suppression if necessary.”
The property has an existing environmental act restriction that requires the entire area to be covered with concrete, asphalt, a building or vegetation.
Commissioner Thomas Sakshaug asked if the on-site flood storage will be banked or if the city will reclaim it.
“The only thing I can say is that the building is going to be demolished, as part of the overall remediation of this area. Many flood storage calculations have been done and at the time of remediation we we are venturing out of application (request for determination of applicability) at this point, but just as a background, during remediation a lot of flood storage calculations were done,” Calacone said.
“The plan and work approved by the EPA and DEP was to cover this building with topsoil and grass in the future when it was determined that the building was no longer needed. is another project for another time.”
Key words: business park, demolition, General Electric,