The EPA estimates that thousands of manufactured gas plants (MGPs) operated in the United States between 1815 and the 1960s. MGPs used large brick ovens to heat coal and other ingredients. As the fuels were heated, they produced gases that were distributed and used by customers for heating, lighting and cooking, much like natural gas is used today. The plants also produced byproducts, such as coal tar, that were marketed for other uses. Typically, MGPs were in downtown or commercial districts to serve customers nearby.
By the 1950s, the production of manufactured gas declined as natural gas became available for customer use. MGPs were closed and usually dismantled, sometimes leaving behind remnants, including piping and other infrastructure, as well as byproducts on-site.
Xcel Energy has provided gas and electricity service to hundreds of communities for more than a century through its predecessor companies or companies it acquired. Throughout our service territory, we have investigated and managed legacy MGP sites in different communities under unique situations or conditions, often improving property values and supporting community development. State and local officials have positively recognized our efforts.
We contract with experienced environmental experts and coordinate with state and local officials and area property owners to take prudent steps to investigate and remediate historic MGP sites. Find information on some of these projects where we have recently led investigations or remediation activities.
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