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Locations of Gas Plants and Other Coal-tar Sites in the U.S.

THE STATE OF DELAWARE

Introduction

         This State, of small and then somewhat rural nature was not a hotbed of manufactured gas activity. The first town gas plant was the 1833 plant on Jutison Street, Wilmington, followed by that of the Wilmington Gas Light Co. in 1852 and the Newcastle gas works, established in 1857. City hotels are known to have had internal gas plants wince about 1859, such as that of the Girard House, at Wilmington. Gas companies outside of Newcastle and Wilmington were relatively small in capacity. Industrial gas works, such as the gas-light plant at the paper mill of  Messrs. Jessup & Moore, on the lower Brandywine River are known to date from at least 1862, likely encouraged by the boom in Civil War manufacturing in the industrialized States.

         Holding company activity showed up around 1914 with merger mania along the Eastern Shore and in lower Delaware. The premier Federal attention to these gas works culminated in the SUPERFUND declaration of the 1859-1948 Dover Gas Light Company plant as a 1991 National Priority List (NPL) site, with a ROD completed in 1994. USEPA had to take this site to court in 1998. in order to achieve PRP action, through a settlement of February 2001. The utility PRP had claimed that it was not the same company that had generated site toxic wastes.

          Corporate entrepreneurs of the 20th century were fond of the favorable incorporation statutes of this State. Consequently many of the smaller utility holding companies were incorporated here, though their true operations were carried on elsewhere, mainly out of New York City. Most of this activity occurred from about 1910 and a considerable amount died with the financial collapse of the Great Depression. The Consolidated Gas Service Corporation was a major holding player in Delaware gas plants. The once large Bay State Gas Company of Massachusetts was incorporated at Wilmington about 1910.

         Manufactured gas in Delaware had largely been replaced by liquefied gas by 1953, with the sole exception of the mixed gas then being served by the Delaware Power & Light Co. at New Castle.

         PAH coal tar wastes in Delaware include those of the associated industries, exemplified by the SUPEFUND NOL Sealand Limited Site, a former coal tar derivatives plant at Mt. Pleasant, abandoned only in 1983.

Click the blue "EPA" link below to view the
Delaware map of the EPA 1985 Radian FMGP Report.

Click the green "Hatheway" link below to view the
Delaware map of Professor Hatheway's research.

Copyright 2012  by Dr. Allen W. Hatheway    All rights reserved.
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