CERM was contracted by Spire Gulf, Inc., formerly known as Mobile Gas Service Corporation (MGSC), to provide Program Management Services relating to assessing, planning, and conducting environmental remediation activities of the 10-acre parcel that once housed a manufactured gas plant (MGP) from 1836 until approximately 1930 in downtown Mobile, Alabama. An environmental assessment was needed to determine the extent of contamination and subsequent actions necessary to ensure the property was suitable for new use. The decommissioned site was redeveloped into a 7-acre public park.
CERM had three principal objectives: (1) to guide MGSC with planning, managing, and completing certain environmental due diligence activities to determine the environmental baseline conditions of the property and identify present environmental concerns related to past MGP activities; (2) to engage the public and primary stakeholders of the surrounding community and obtain their views, help, and support of the project, educating and soliciting input from stakeholders on the various phases of the project during the scheduled duration; and (3) construction management of the environmental clean-up and redevelopment of the passive greenspace.
As a former manufactured gas plant location, there were community concerns regarding possible threats to the environment and public health. This was attributed to the potential exposure to by-products or chemical compounds remaining in the soil from the historic operations of the plant. Allegations ensued of hazardous contaminants and decades of minimal progress on the site’s remediation. CERM’s solution involved developing and implementing a customized Community Mitigation Strategy to work closely with stakeholders at every level towards engaging and educating the public and primary stakeholders of the surrounding community while obtaining their views, help, and support of the project during the scheduled duration.
The identified stakeholders included Spire corporate representatives, elected officials, community advocates, environmental professionals, housing officials, economic development partners, education entities, and business partners. This integrated approach helped quell much of the uncertainty and concerns surrounding the transformation of the 175-year old structure.