Columbia Gas of Ohio to begin second phase of cleanup

Former gas plant property in Portsmouth - testing shows no current risk

Staff Report

COLUMBUS— Columbia Gas of Ohio will conduct the second (and final) phase of cleanup at a former manufactured gas plant site in Portsmouth that is a part of the city’s history. The cleanup comes after testing has shown that there is no current risk to human health or the environment. The northern portion of this site was cleaned up by Columbia Gas in 2018.

This second phase involves the cleanup of the southern portion of the site, which is bordered by Second, Jefferson and Madison Streets. A predecessor of Columbia Gas used the site to manufacture gas used for heating, cooking and lighting in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Once pipelines were laid to provide a dependable source of natural gas, the plant was closed and eventually demolished.

Columbia Gas recently tested the southern portion of the site and found byproducts and residues typical of gas manufacturing operations. To be sure the site does not pose a problem over the long run, the company will remove impacted soil and replace it with clean fill. The investigation and cleanup are being conducted after consultation with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the City of Portsmouth.

The project is set to begin June 1 and be completed by the end of August. Neighbors may notice more truck traffic on Second Street during weekdays from seven a.m. to seven p.m. and fewer parking spaces available for businesses on Second Street. The alley on the west side of the work site, adjacent to Riverview Wesleyan Church, will be closed during remediation, while an existing sanitary sewer line is replaced. The work area will be surrounded by a temporary construction fence, with gates locked after working hours. Security will be on site after hours.

Air quality will be monitored to ensure the safety of the public and workers. People in the area may notice an occasional odor of tar or mothballs during the work.

Anyone with questions about the project is invited to contact Dave Rau, Communications Manager with Columbia Gas, at 614-460-6808 or [email protected] The Portsmouth City Health Department also has information on the types of materials found at the site.

Columbia Gas of Ohio, headquartered in Columbus, is one of the seven energy distribution companies of NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI). Serving approximately 1.4 million residential, commercial and industrial customers, Columbia Gas of Ohio is the largest natural gas utility in the state. More information about Columbia Gas of Ohio is available at

Former gas plant property in Portsmouth – testing shows no current risk

Staff Report