Consolidated Edison Company of New York Asbestos Litigation & Lawsuits

con edison

Consolidated Edison (Con Ed or Con Edison) currently distributes natural gas to more than a million customers in Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, and Westchester County. It also provides electric power to more than 3 million customers and steam to New York City. The company has the world’s largest system of underground cables (extending 94,000 miles) in addition to 36,000 miles of overhead wires. Its headquarters are in Manhattan.

Asbestos Exposure at Con Edison

Consolidated Edison built its energy empire at a time when asbestos was used heavily by the utilities industry. Until the early 1970s, Con Ed workers were not required to wear protective gear or warned of the potential dangers of asbestos exposure.

As a result, many workers were exposed to asbestos and developed mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. A 1990 screening of more than 500 Con Edison workers found that 20 percent had scarred lungs or mesothelioma.

Asbestos-containing materials were used on various types of equipment at Consolidated Edison’s New York powerhouses, including boilers, turbines, pipes, pumps, heaters, coolers, air compressors, blowers, and fans. Plant workers were possibly exposed to asbestos when they installed, inspected, maintained, repaired, removed, or replaced asbestos-containing equipment.

Because mesothelioma has a latency period of 15 to 60 years, workers who were exposed to asbestos decades ago may only now begin to show signs of illness. At Belluck & Fox, our experienced New York mesothelioma attorneys know exactly where asbestos was used at Consolidated Edison plants, how workers were exposed to asbestos, and which companies supplied the asbestos to Con Edison. We will use this knowledge and our decades of legal experience to fight for the rights of you and your family.

Have you been diagnosed with an asbestos disease after working in a power plant? 

Con Edison Power Plants

Consolidated Edison 59th Street Powerhouse
The original New York City Subway line was built by the Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT) and opened in 1904. This underground transit system required high levels of electrical power and necessitated the building of a huge power generation station.

The 59th Street Powerhouse, better known as the IRT Powerhouse, occupies the entire city block between 11th and 12th avenues and 58th and 59th streets in Manhattan. To power the subway system, it used up to 1,000 tons per day of Hudson River-delivered coal and generated 132,000 horsepower. At the time, it was hailed by an electrician trade magazine as the largest steam-driven power plant in the world.

The IRT Powerhouse powered the subway until 1959, when it was sold to Consolidated Edison. Con Ed today uses the plant to generate steam that is used for heating, cooling, and sterilization in large city buildings that include the Empire State Building and the United Nations.

Although still an active steam-generating plant, it is the exterior of the former IRT Powerhouse that has caught the attention of some New York City residents. The building, designed by a renowned architectural firm that also designed the old Penn Station, has ornate French-Renaissance-style facades made of Roman brick, terra-cotta, and pink granite. There are ongoing efforts to have the architecturally significant building designated as a historical landmark, but Con Ed has opposed such efforts in the past, saying that they would interfere with the plant’s day-to-day operations.

Have you been diagnosed with an asbestos disease after working in a power plant? 

Sources:

  • New York Times: The IRT Generating Plant on 59th Street; A Push to Make a Con Ed Steam Plant a Landmark
  • IEEE: The Railway Power Stations of New York City
Consolidated Edison Arthur Kill Generating Station
The Arthur Kill Generating Station is a former Consolidated Edison oil- and gas-fired power plant located on Staten Island.

Arthur Kill — also known as Staten Island Sound — is the body of water that separates the New York City borough of Staten Island from mainland New Jersey and connects Newark Bay and Raritan Bay. The Arthur Kill Generating Station is located along this straight and withdraws cooling water from it.

The original 25-megawatt Unit 1 at the Arthur Kill site was put in place by Staten Island Edison in 1947, a time when Staten Island was mostly rural and no bridges yet connected it to greater New York. Staten Island Edison merged into Con Edison in 1952, and two additional Arthur Kill units followed in 1959 and 1969.

The Arthur Kill Generating Station today produces 810 megawatts. It was sold by Con Ed to NRG Energy in 1999 as part of a divestiture plan.

There have been ongoing concerns about the environmental impacts of the powerhouse on marine wildlife. The facility takes about 713 million gallons per day of cooling water from Arthur Kill, which is then returned to the tidal straight through a 900-foot canal. Environmental groups have charged that the antiquated “once through cooling” system found on older plants such as Arthur Kill not only kills large numbers of fish upon intake, but also alters surrounding ecosystems due to the warmer water it discharges.

Have you been diagnosed with an asbestos disease after working in a power plant? 

Source:

  • Bureau of Habitat, Steam Electric Unit: Biological Fact Sheet
Consolidated Edison Astoria Generating Station
Astoria Generating Station is a 1,335-megawatt natural gas and fuel oil power plant in the borough of Queens, New York City.

Formerly owned by Consolidated Edison, Astoria Generating Station was sold to Orion Power Holdings in 1999 as part of a Con Ed divestiture plan and is now owned by US Power Generating Company (USPowerGen). It is located on the Con Ed Electric Generating Complex in northwest Queens, a 300-acre site along the East River that is the center of electric generation in New York City. USPowerGen shares the property with three other tenants, including New York Power Authority and NRG Energy.

The Astoria facility has five generating units, including four large steam units that were built in the 1950s and 1960s. Three of the units are dual-fueled (natural gas and oil), while another is natural-gas fueled.

USPowerGen has plans for a repowering project at the Astoria plant that would increase its generating capacity by about 15 percent while reducing its air emissions. The plan calls for installing a state-of-the-art 410-megawatt combined-cycle generating unit, retiring one of the existing units, and capping emissions on the other three units. In addition, the new facility will not use the East River for cooling. The plant’s four primary generating units withdraw more than 1.2 billion gallons of river water per day and have been blamed for the death of millions of fish each year.

Have you been diagnosed with an asbestos disease after working in a power plant? 

Sources:

  • New York Power Authority: Astoria 500 Megawatt Combined-Cycle Power Plant
  • Times Ledger: Astoria Power Plant to Receive Upgrade
  • Queens Chronicle: Power Station to Build New Unit
  • USPowerGen: The Luyster Creek Energy Project
Consolidated Edison East 74th Street Station
The Manhattan Elevated Railway Company began construction of the East 74th Street Power Station in 1899 with the purpose of supplying electricity to several elevated railroads that were in the process of being converted from steam power to electric.

Con Ed took over the power plant in 1959 and continued to supply power to the Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT) — operator of New York City’s original subway line — for a number of years. Today, the East 74th Street Station supplies Con Edison’s steam distribution system, which provides steam to Manhattan buildings for heating, cooling, and hot water. It is the largest commercial steam system in the world.

In an effort to cut uptown fossil fuel emissions, Con Ed recently undertook a greening project that will convert the 74th Street plant and another Con Ed steam plant on West 59th Street from fuel oil to natural gas. The work at 74th Street entails cutting out the facility’s nine boilers — three the size of a large tenement building and six more the size of a VW beetle — upgrading them, and then reinstalling them. Miles of new piping must also be replaced by hand.

While the upgraded facilities will still use fuel oil as a backup, the primary use of natural gas to fire boilers and produce steam is expected to cut emissions by 40 percent — the equivalent of taking 26,000 cars off the streets.

Have you been diagnosed with an asbestos disease after working in a power plant? 

Sources:

  • IEEE: The Railway Power Stations of New York City
  • Daily News: Conversion of ConEd Steam Plants in Manhattan Will Save Money and Clear the Air
Consolidated Edison East River Generating Station
The East River Generating Station is a 43,000-square-foot, 660-megawatt oil and natural gas-fired power plant located along the East River at 14th Street in Lower Manhattan.

East River Station was built as a coal facility in 1926 by the New York Edison Company. The plant’s original six-story boilers were so large that one of them accommodated a 100-person luncheon held in honor of the plant’s opening in 1926. Queen Marie of Romania dedicated the plant by flipping the switch that started the 100,000-horsepower turbine generator, prompting a ConEd official to note that the queen had, “released the energies of one machine that could supply more than three times the electricity at present used by all of Romania.”

Coal-burning electric-generating units 6 and 7 were added to East River in 1951 and 1955 and converted to dual fuel (oil/natural gas) during the late 1960s. Around this time, Con Ed also invested in 10 smaller boilers at the complex that generated steam for its steam customers.

East River Station today continues to produce electricity and steam for New York City homes and businesses. Con Ed, in fact, operates the largest and most extensive commercial steam system in the U.S., and the East River complex is the company’s most prolific steam-generating site. With the completion of the East River Repowering Project (ERRP) in 2004, which saw the installation of two new gas turbines, heat recovery steam generators, and gas compressors, both steam and electric output at East River increased while overall facility emissions fell.

Have you been diagnosed with an asbestos disease after working in a power plant? 

Sources:

  • Emerson Process Management: Con Edison’s East River Repowering Project Uses Ovation Simulation to Dramatically Reduce Plant Startup Time
  • Manhattan Community Board Six/East Side Rezoning Alliance: 197-A Plan for the Eastern Section of Community District 6, Borough of Manhattan, New York City
  • Con Edison: A Tale of the New York City Steam System
Consolidated Edison Hell Gate Station
Hell Gate Station is a former electric-generating plant of Consolidated Edison located along the East River in the Bronx, New York, between East 132nd and East 134th streets on Locust Avenue.

Hell Gate refers to a treacherous East River tidal straight separating Astoria, Queens, and Wards Island. The power plant bearing its name was built for United Electric Light & Power Company by Thomas E. Murray, an inventor and entrepreneur who helped to consolidate and standardize the power grid system supplying New York City.

Hell Gate opened in 1921, and when completed in 1928, the plant held the distinction of being the world’s most powerful steam-electric station. Other features that made Hell Gate noteworthy at the time were the use of alternating-current-driven auxiliaries (rather than direct-current-driven) and water-cooled steel furnace wall (in place of fire brick refractory furnace wall), which allowed for a substantial increase in furnace capacity and became the industry standard after use at Hell Gate.

The generating capacity of Hell Gate brought United Electric Light & Power Company “superpower” status as an electric supplier, but the company would cease to exist in 1935 after a merger with New York Edison Company. New York Edison merged with its parent company, Consolidated Gas, a year later to form Consolidated Edison Company of New York.

Power has not been generated at Hell Gate since the 1970s, when it was shut down due to age-related air pollution, reliability, and efficiency concerns. The station, however, still controls electrical service for parts of the Bronx and Manhattan and is a crossover point for gas and power lines from Queens.

In 1989, Con Ed’s Hell Gate site was the epicenter of a giant blast set off by a backhoe that struck an underground gas line. The blast killed two people, injured 27, and blacked out 135,000 customers in the Bronx and Manhattan.

Have you been diagnosed with an asbestos disease after working in a power plant? 

Sources:

  • IEEE: Architect of Power
  • New York Times: Fiery Blast Shuts Off Power to Many New Yorkers
  • IEEE: History ─ An AC Pioneer, United Electric Light and Power Company
  • Public Service Commission: PSC Concludes Investigation of Con Ed Electric Supply
Consolidated Edison Hudson Avenue Powerhouse
Hudson Avenue Station is a now-shuttered Consolidated Edison power plant in Brooklyn, New York.

Thomas E. Murray, a businessman and inventor, was responsible for the design and construction of Hudson Avenue Powerhouse and eight other power-generating plants in New York City. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, electricity generation in New York was fractured and inefficient, with 775 privately owned power plants in operation, some of which served just a single customer. But as electric power engineering rapidly advanced and electrical infrastructure expanded across the city, power company mergers and acquisitions became common, and large electrical utilities emerged.

One of them was Consolidated Gas, later to become Consolidated Edison Company of New York. Consolidated Gas acquired competitor United Electric Light and Power Company in 1900. Thomas Murray built three, then state-of-the-art power plants for United, including the Hudson Avenue plant, the largest of all Murray plants. Completed in stages between 1924 and 1932, Hudson Avenue was rated at 770-megawatts, at the time the world’s most powerful steam electric station.

Hudson Avenue supplied power to Brooklyn and Queens as well as steam to Manhattan for heat, hot water, and cooling through its steam system — the largest commercial steam system in the United States. Indeed, Hudson Avenue Station became a pioneer of what’s known as cogeneration, or the production of steam for heating and cooling with electricity as a by-product. In time, the Hudson Avenue plant ceased electric generation and produced steam only.

By 2011, just four of the plant’s original 32 boilers were still operational, with the rest having been retired in previous years. In February 2011, the remaining four boilers, which burned dirty and expensive No. 6 fuel oil, were retired in an effort by Con Ed to reduce its steam system emissions and lower costs to steam customers.

Have you been diagnosed with an asbestos disease after working in a power plant? 

Sources:

  • IEEE: Architect of Power
  • Con Edison: Con Edison Lowers Emissions from Steam Generation
  • New York State Department of Environmental Conservation: Environmental Conservation Law Permit
Consolidated Edison Hunts Point Manufactured Gas Plant
The Hunts Point Manufactured Gas Plant was located in the Bronx. The plant was operated during the 1800s and mid-1900s, prior to the development of modern natural gas systems. It was used to convert coal and oil into a gas that was sold to customers throughout the area for heating, lighting, and cooking. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation oversees the investigation and cleanup of the extensive contamination left behind from these types of plants.

The plant originally produced gas for gas street light systems and later for heating and cooking. These types of plant required large quantities of water and were built along the waterways. The last of these plants in the state ceased operations in 1972. These plants manufactured gas through coal carbonization, in which coal was heated in what were called “beehive” ovens, and the gas produced would be cooled, purified, and then piped to the customers through a network of gas pipes.

Later, a new process was used in which coke or coal was heated in the presence of steam, leaving a flammable gas mixture, containing methane and carbon monoxide. The waste products created at the gas plants were resistant to decay and are known to have the potential for posing a health risk to workers and residents living in the area. The main waste was coal tar, which contaminated the site or was released into the water, corrupting soil, groundwater, and sediment.

Many of these types of sites, including the Hunts Point Manufactured Gas Plant, were inactive for many decades, and the site was later sold and redeveloped. The contaminated soil was covered with pavement, buildings or soil, but the dangerous substances may not have been fully removed, and people can be exposed to this contamination through ground water, contact with skin, or accidental ingestion. The various toxic substances that are commonly found to have contaminated manufactured gas plants include benzene, a cancer-causing agent, BTEX, cyanides, and many other toxic substances that are a known risk to public health.

Con Edison has 51 different manufactured gas plants that have been identified and require various cleanup activities. Cleanup activities require the removal of contaminated soil, the removal of buried structures, and asbestos removal, as the substance was heavily used as insulation during this period. The offensive odor of the vapors produced by the contaminants has been a troublesome factor as well.

Con Edison operated the Hunts Point Manufactured Gas Plant between 1926 and 1962. The city of New York then acquired the majority of the site in the late 1960s, and the property was transitioned and used for warehouse space for a wholesale food co-op.

Con Ed has been involved in a voluntary cleanup program on the former Hunts Point site, although earlier there was extensive work done to remove contaminants. There are many concerns about the health impact upon residents in the area, and an estimated 40 percent of the children in one school in this area of the Bronx have been diagnosed with asthma as a result of environmental contamination.

Have you been diagnosed with an asbestos disease after working in a power plant? 

Sources:

  • New York Department of Environmental Conservation: New York State’s Approach to Remediation of Former Manufactured Gas Plant Sites
  • Con Ed: Former Con Edison Manufactured Gas Plants
  • EPA: MGP Site Cleanup
Consolidated Edison Indian Point Nuclear Units
The Indian Point Energy Center is a nuclear power station in Buchanan, New York, in the Peekskill area, on the east bank of the Hudson River, just 38 miles north of New York City. The plant generates more than 2,000 megawatts of electric power, about 25 to 30 percent of the power needed to feed New York City and areas of Westchester County.

Con Edison launched the Indian Point Nuclear Reactor 1 in 1962, followed by Indian Point 2 in 1974 and Indian Point 3, which was sold to the New York Power Authority before its completion. Indian Point 1 was permanently shut down in 1974. Entergy bought the remaining Indian Point reactors in 2001.

Indian Point 1, Indian Point 2, and Indian Point 3: Nuclear Reactors at Indian Point

The Indian Point reactors are each protected by containment domes built from concrete reinforced with steel 4 to 6 feet thick. The plant has historically faced several serious problems and violations, with a string of accidents and mishaps that at one time landed the facility on the federal list of the nation’s worst power plants.

Some of the issues that have plagued the facility include in 1973, the steel liner of the dome was found to have buckled. In 1980, 100,000 gallons of water leaked into the containment building, and the pumping system in the facility was inoperable. In 2000, a radioactive leak led to the closure of the plant for 11 months. Other incidents included 600,000 gallons of radioactive steam venting into the atmosphere and an explosion in the main generator that spilled oil into the Hudson River.

The used fuel rods at the facility are kept in spent fuel pools, which contain more nuclear material than the reactors and are not protected by a containment structure. They are in a 40-foot-deep pool in bedrock, placed 27 feet below the surface.

The nuclear reactor units on the site were built by Westinghouse, and the turbine generators by General Electric. The cooling water source for the reactors is the Hudson River, a cause for alarm with the various leaks that have occurred over the years the facility has been in operation. Since the catastrophic events at Japan’s Fukushima Plant, there has been increased focus on the potential dangers of the Indian Point Power Center, as a fault line has been found that could pose a serious risk for the area if a temblor hits that is larger than the plant was built to withstand. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has listed the plant as being one of the 10 sites most in need of a full re-evaluation for earthquake vulnerability.

The reactors and their continued use is an issue of contention. Many believe that for the safety of the public and with the potential for an earthquake in the area, as well as the impact upon fish, the plant should be shut down. According to Riverkeeper, an environmental group that is focused on the Hudson River, there have been a billion fish killed every year over the past 40 years.

The plant provides about 25 percent of the electrical power to New York City.

Have you been diagnosed with an asbestos disease after working in a power plant? 

Sources:

  • New York Times: Agency Urges Quake Study for Indian Point
  • Entergy Nuclear: Indian Point Energy Center
  • New York Times: Hearings on Water Permits for Indian Point
  • The Encyclopedia of New York State: Consolidated Edison
Consolidated Edison Kent Avenue Generating Station
Around the turn of the turn of the 20th century, the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company (BRT), an early New York City provider of above and underground rail service, derived electrical power to drive its subway operation from the Transit Development Company. In 1909, Transit Development completed a new powerhouse in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn at 500 Kent Ave. It eventually became known simply as the Kent Avenue power station.

Con Edison purchased the Kent Avenue station in 1959 and made changes to its aging infrastructure to improve electrical reliability to the local subway system. During the 1960s, the Kent Powerhouse ceased generating power, but was used as a power distribution point until 1999, the year it was finally closed. The station was demolished in 2009.

Some Brooklyn residents were upset at the station’s demolition, believing that the building could, like other old industrial buildings in the area, be used for housing, manufacturing, a cultural institution, or open space. But attempts to sell the building proved unsuccessful because of contamination, both inside and out, with toxins that included lead paint and asbestos. Even after the building was removed, the former powerhouse site required soil remediation of asbestos and other toxins.

Have you been diagnosed with an asbestos disease after working in a power plant? 

Sources:

  • IEEE: The Railway Power Stations of New York – Kent Avenue
  • New York Times: When Spring Cleaning Includes a Power Plant
Consolidated Edison Kips Bay Plant
New York City was once divided into 10 heating districts in which central boiler plants would be placed to supply steam to the various areas of the city. By 1932, the huge Kips Bay station plus five other stations were providing electricity and steam to more than 2,500 buildings. Con Edison continues to provide steam to about 1,800 of the buildings in New York City.

The Kips Bay Plant was originally supplied with fuel oil delivered by barge and piped to the facility from the port to a huge oil storage tank. The Kips Bay Fuel Terminal also stored fuel in an underground tank serving as a backup fuel depot for the steam boilers at the Waterside Generating Station. The site later required extensive remedial activities including asbestos abatement, excavation of soils and solids from an ash pit, the removal of petroleum and PCB impacted soil, and an evaluation of the groundwater conditions.

When the Kips Bay Plant was established and throughout much of its history, asbestos was the most commonly used form of insulation and was in heavy use as insulation for the miles of pipe within the system, as well as pipe leaving the plant in its steam distribution system. Workers in the plant ─ whether in any of the trades necessary to keep the plant producing, such as plumbers, electricians, and boilermakers ─ were exposed to high levels of asbestos, as the substance was literally everywhere. Even those working in administrative jobs were exposed. The substance was constantly floating in the dust in the air.

Workers in the plant up to the point at which asbestos was removed, or those involved in the asbestos abatement process, may now be suffering the dreadful consequences of the exposure, having developed mesothelioma, lung cancer, or asbestosis.

Con Ed sold the Kips Bay site to Sheldon Solow in 2000, with this prime waterfront property now one of the largest development sites in New York City.

Have you been diagnosed with an asbestos disease after working in a power plant? 

Source:

  • New York Times: Kips Bay, Taking Back the Streets
Consolidated Edison Ravenswood Generating Station
The Ravenswood Generating Station, located at the intersection of Vernon Blvd and 36th Avenue along the East River in Long Island City, Queens, is capable of providing up to 21 percent of the electricity consumed in New York City.

Originally built for Consolidated Edison, the plant was sold to KeySpan in 1999 as part of a divestiture plan and is now owned by TransCanada.

Ravenswood began operations in 1963 with two units. Ravenswood Unit 3, the home of “Big Allis,” a 1,000-megawatt generator built by Allis-Chambers, went online in 1965. At the time, Big Allis was the world’s largest electric-generating unit, and it remains the largest generator in New York City. A fourth unit was added to Ravenswood by KeySpan in 2004. All units run on natural gas and oil. The plant has a total capacity of 2,480 megawatts.

Con Ed in 1962 proposed building a 1,000-megawatt nuclear plant at the Ravenswood site that would have been the largest nuclear-generating station in the world. The local community, however, strongly opposed its presence in their backyard, and Con Ed withdrew its application for the nuclear plant in 1964. No nuclear plant has ever been built in New York City. The closest is at Indian Point, 38 miles north of the city in Buchanan.

After KeySpan bought the Ravenswood Generating Station in 1999, the company merged with National Grid. TransCanada bought Ravenswood in 2008. A steam plant at the site continues to supply steam to the Consolidated Edison steam network.

Have you been diagnosed with an asbestos disease after working in a power plant? 

Sources:

  • New York Times: Thank These Sweaty Men for Your Air Conditioning
  • Brownstoner Queens: Big Allis, Also Known as the Ravenswood Generating Station
  • Queens Gazette: 50 Years of Opposition Brings Ravenswood Nuclear Power Plant Ban
  • TransCanada: Ravenswood Generating Station
Consolidated Edison Sherman Creek Generating Plan
The Sherman Creek Generating Plant was originally built by the United Electric Light & Power Company and was later absorbed into Con Ed. The site was established in 1914 and stood on West 201st Street, where Sherman Creek meets the Harlem River. The massive brick and steel structure was designed to produce and deliver alternating current exclusively. The plant operated as an electricity-generating plant until 1970.

One of nine power plants built by entrepreneur Thomas E. Murray, the plant had many innovations and required only one-third the number of boilers of the other electricity-generating plants in the area. The plant had other modern advances, including the use of pulverized coal and a special water spray system that was put in place to catch cinders.

The four brick-lined smokestacks rising from the massive structure were 325-feet tall. The Sherman Creek Generating Station was considered a modern marvel of the time. The coal used by the facility was delivered by barge on the Harlem River. The plant and the company that owned it faced various problems, even in the early days of operation. A lawsuit was filed by property owners in the area against United Electric Light & Power Company for pouring millions of gallons of hot water into Sherman Creek. It was claimed that the company had secretly built a tunnel to carry away the hot water at a rate of 11,000 gallons per hour, also flooding a piece of land. The lawsuit was successful, and United Electric Light & Power Company was forced to pay the plaintiffs.

The Sherman Creek Generating Station was taken offline in 1970, due to an inability to meet clean air standards. Several plans were presented to repurpose the site, including building an affordable housing residential complex on the site, none of which were approved. Eventually, in 1997, the plant was demolished.

Have you been diagnosed with an asbestos disease after working at Con Edison power plant? 

Sources:

  • My Inwood: Sherman Creek Power Generating Station
  • IEEE: Architect of Power
Consolidated Edison Waterside Generating Plant
Brooklyn’s Waterside Generating Plant, which began operating in 1900, was the first plant in New York City to produce alternating current. The plant covered 9.5 acres on the East River between 38th and 40th streets.

The plant was located near the United Nations and, as recently as 1946, was surrounded by odorous slaughterhouses, cattle pens, and meat-packing companies. The site was later sold to a private developer, the area upgraded, and the site is now surrounded by upscale condominiums. Prior to Con Ed selling the plant to a developer, the power station was known as one of the most polluting steam/electricity-generating plants in the state and had been out of compliance with environmental regulations for five years.

Con Edison faced a lawsuit filed by the federal government in 1988 regarding asbestos removal at the Waterside Plant as well as several other steam/electricity-generating plants in the area. The Federal Environmental Protection Agency filed the suit against Con Ed in the Brooklyn Federal District Court, accusing Con Ed of engaging in asbestos removal that failed to protect workers or the public who may have been exposed to asbestos dust at thisjobsitein New York.

Con Ed entered into a contract to demolish and decommission the Waterside Generating Plant, including asbestos abatement and environmental remediation. The project included removing an underground storage tank, building demolition, and power plant demolition. There were 1,000 tons of PCB-contaminated soil, 100 tons of soil with dangerous levels of lead, and more than 100,000 gallons of oily water that had to be removed from the site.

Have you been diagnosed with an asbestos disease after working in a power plant? 

Sources:

  • TRC Solutions: View Projects
  • New York Department of Environmental Conservation: Availability of Remediation Work Plan for Comment
  • New York Times: Con Ed Plans to Sell 3 Lots Near the U.N.

History of Con Edison

Consolidated Edison began as the New York Gas Light Company. At inception in 1823, the company was focused on installing gas street lighting in Manhattan. Prior to gas lights, street lighting was supplied by whale oil lamps. The project was begun with gas pipe laid on Pearl Street, followed by Broadway.

City leaders at the time were part of the Common Council, similar to the current New York City Council. In 1833, the council granted the Manhattan Gas Light Company a franchise to light the city above Grand Street and Canal Street.

The gas light business became hotly contested, with several other companies competing for city business, including Harlem Gas Light Company, Metropolitan Gas Light Company, New York Mutual Gas Light Company, Municipal Gas Light Company, and Knickerbocker Gas Light Company. This led to a volatile situation in which one company would tear up the streets, remove a rival’s mains, and install its own. There were even brawls between workers over territory.

Eventually, the rival companies came to an agreement about gas prices, thus ending the days of “gas house gangs.” On November 11, 1884, the six gas companies merged to form Consolidated Gas Company.

Another conflict was on the horizon, though, and this time it was with a competing technology. In 1879, Thomas Edison introduced the incandescent lightbulb to the world. The electric light soon became preferred to the gas lamp, and gas companies shifted their activities to promoting the use of gas for cooking and heating.

Seeing the value of diversifying its power portfolio, Consolidated Gas began to buy electrical companies in addition to other gas companies. One of those electric companies was Edison Electric. During the 1920s, Consolidated expanded its alternating current (AC) distribution and designed and built the first 345,000-volt underground transmission lines. The lines made it possible for electricity generated upstate to power New York City.

Consolidated Gas continued its practice of acquiring gas, electric, and steam companies that were serving the areas of New York City and Westchester County. In March 1936, the company was renamed the Consolidated Edison Company of New York.

Know Your Legal Rights

If you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, lung cancer, or another disease associated with exposure to asbestos, you may be entitled to compensation.

To learn more, schedule a free case review with the dedicated New York mesothelioma attorneys at Belluck & Fox. Our nationally recognized legal team has a strong record of success in asbestos claims, securing more than $800 million for clients and their families.

Sources:

  • Consolidated Edison
  • American Oil & Gas Historical Society: History of Con Edison
  • Los Angeles Times: Asbestos Disease Still Rises Due to Lag Between Exposure and Illness