Created By: Mount Joy Borough
A historic manufactured gas plant (MGP), locally known as "Old Standby", was located at 225 West Main Street, Mount Joy. The MGP manufactured gas and conveyed it to the local community for lighting, heating, and industrial purposes. The facility earned the nickname "Old Standby" from local residents for its reliability in keeping the lights on during severe weather conditions. The Mount Joy MGP was constructed around 1879 and operated until about 1951. PPL Electric Utilities' predecessor, the former Pennsylvania Power and Light Company (PP&L), owned the site at 225 West Main Street, Mount Joy, PA from around 1930 through 1948, when it was sold to United Gas Improvements Company (UGI). UGI Utilities, Inc., a subsidiary of UGI and the previous owner of the property, currently operates natural gas regulation and distribution facilities on a portion of the property.
Before natural gas was available, MGPs produced gas for public, commercial, and industrial use. These MGPs typically made gas by heating coal or oil, and the gas was used for lighting, heating, and various industrial uses.
UGI Utilities (UGI) and PPL Electric Utilities Corporation (PPL) have jointly conducted an environmental investigation from 2012 through 2017, and an Interim Remedial Action (IRA) at the site in 2015, under the oversight of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP). The assessment activities included, in part, the collection of soil and groundwater samples for chemical analysis to identify whether constituents from the former MGP operations may be present in soil and/or groundwater. The results of investigations were used to develop the IRA Work Plan, which was submitted to PADEP in March 2015. The IRA included the excavation and off-site treatment/disposal of MGP source areas and readily recoverable contaminants at the site. In order to remove the soils, an adjacent property (223 W. Main Street) with a single- family home located adjacent to the site was purchased by UGI, and the home was demolished due to its close proximity to the excavation area. Approximately 4,095 tons of soils were then excavated and removed from the site during the IRA, and a Certification Report was submitted to PADEP documenting the completion of the work in accordance with the IRA Work Plan. Prior to completing the IRA, UGI installed planned improvements to the local gas distribution system in the Borough. The improvements included the installation of new gas regulating equipment on the UGI property, and the installation of upgraded gas conveyance piping on West Main Street and Fairview Street.
UGI and PPL previously indicated to Mount Joy Borough that they were interested in identifying beneficial public reuse alternatives that Mount Joy Borough may deem appropriate for the property. Mount Joy Borough identified a public benefit for creating a public park at this location. Parks provide a great benefit to citizens, both those who live nearby and tourists. In addition to their many environmental benefits, including preserving plant and animal habitat, decreasing air pollution, and water filtration, parks create an economic benefit for municipalities, residents, and businesses. UGI and PPL subsequently provided two conceptual development plans to the Borough depicting the layout of a potential driveway to connect to Hopewell Street, and the creation of a public park. The park contains improved handicap ramps, stamped asphalt throughout, park benches, park lighting, trash and dog receptacles and landscaping to create an inviting environment. Upon completion of the project, Mount Joy Borough accepted Deed of Dedication from UGI, on October 2, 2017, and granted a Utility Easement to UGI for access to their utilities. This park is a commemoration of this important community milestone, and celebrates the early industrial growth of Mount Joy Borough and the rich, native flora of southeastern Pennsylvania.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Mount Joy Borough Parks