WEST DEPTFORD ENERGY STATION
LOCATION: GLOUCESTER, NJ
CLIENT: WEST DEPTFORD ENERGY STATION
MARKET SECTOR: ENERGY UTILITY
PS&S’s cultural resource specialists were retained to help the West Deptford Energy Station (WDES) comply with State permitting requirements during construction of its massive electrical generating plant and associated off-site natural gas and power lines.
The plant and pipelines are situated along the banks of Mantua Creek near its confluence with the Delaware River, an important place in both prehistoric and historic times. Forty-five prehistoric archaeological sites are known to exist in the immediate vicinity, as well as historic sites dating back to the Colonial era. The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) was highly concerned that the proposed improvements might impact these sites; WDES faced pressing time constraints and wished to avoid prolonged review processes.
THE PS&S SOLUTION
PS&S conducted extensive documentary and field research to pin down the former locations of historic structures and prehistoric sites. These investigations identified multiple Native American sites dating from thousands of years ago, in addition to house sites associated with prominent early Quaker settlers. PS&S’s timely performance and reporting allowed WDES to avoid most of the sites through minor redesigns. WDES and PS&S also worked out a plan with SHPO to conduct archaeological monitoring of construction near the remaining sites rather than additional expensive and time-consuming excavations – saving WDES the costs of construction delays. In the end, significant archaeological sites were preserved and the project was completed without regulatory delays.
In 2013, the overall project won the New Jersey Alliance for Action’s Leading Economic Development Project for South Jersey Award.