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Feb 01

Monthly Memories 40th Anniversary – Issue 2

Article Source By millerenv

Then… Jim Miller Sr. – Founder

Long Island Lighting Company 1977 40 Years Of Service

It’s was a cold, windy day in early January 1977 and a call came in from Long Island Lighting Company (LILCO) that Long Island Sound had severe ice flows and the Dielectric Cables transiting from Northport, NY to Norwalk, CT are being damaged by the USCG navigational buoys. LILCO requested immediate assistance. The Tugboat, Jenniffer Miller, the Crew Boat Tracey Miller and the LCM6 Landing Craft Barbara Miller are promptly put underway to Northport. The vessels battle their way into the Northport facility through the ice flows to load a full dive team with underwater cutting equipment in anticipation of severing the chains from the navigation buoys, which connect to five ton sinkers in an effort to prevent further damage to the Dielectric Cables. The next day at first light we encountered the buoy that previously marked the entrance to the Nissequogue River and had been dragged in the ice flows some distance and had collided with Cable #6, which had now failed and was leaking oil. When open water became available in the vicinity of the buoy the Jenniffer and Tracey Miller went up current with bows opposing each other to create a protective “V” so that the dive vessel, the Barbara Miller, could launch a dive crew into the water without being overcome by the ice flow. The dive team went under the buoy and utilized electric oxygen cutting equipment to sever the heavy chain and release the buoy to be later picked up by the USCG. This project continued on this basis for the next six weeks. There were a total of 28 collisions with the Dielectric Cables resulting in damage. Every time a leaking cable was discovered the vessel configuration was placed into service and divers would go to the sea bed and install temporary clamps that were fabricated in the Miller shop. The overall project of finding and releasing buoys and temporary repairs on the cables was finally completed on July 6, 1977. It was a harrowing winter and a wonderful summer. Miller was congratulated by LILCO for a job well done with many creative solutions required to achieve the overall success.

Now… Slade McFadden – Project Manager

Hashamomuck Pond Pole Project 6 Years Of Service

In the fall of 2008, MEG received a call from National Grid to meet in Southold, NY to see if we could be of assistance to them in regards to a downed power pole. After traversing about a quarter mile through marsh and gullies we ended up on the northeast corner of Hashamomuck Pond (an approximately 180 acre tidally influenced shallow pond). The pole in question was 65’ feet in length and the main three phase line support in the pond between two extremely weathered/deteriorated towers on each side of the bank. Unfortunately, due to a storm event, the pole had been completely uprooted and was now leaning at a 45 degree angle and being held up only by the lines it was supposed to be supporting. After the site walk and when asked whether MEG could assist in the installation and line transfer onto a new pole, the response was “absolutely”. Our 1st thought was to approach Jim Miller Sr. with ideas we had formulated, of which many he shot down or disproved. After quite a few ideas we thought “how about we sink the barges to use as stable work platforms” to which he responded “you know that might be crazy enough to work”. The work began by procuring a specialized pole grabbing attachment and marrying it to the a Backhoe, this would be transported with the new 65’ pole by sectional barge at high tide (3’ at high 1.5’ at low) to the old pole location.

Once in position the barge was to be intentionally sunk onto the pond surface for complete stability during the pole lift and set by water jetting in to a depth of 10 feet. MEG then replaced the backhoe with a 65’ man lift for use by National Grid to transfer the wires from the old pole to the newly installed pole. The project went through two years of planning and permit approval was completed in December 2010 on schedule, without any safety issues and ultimately with an extremely happy customer.

Employee Story Of The Month Adam Libuser – Manager

10 Years Of Service

It is a warm summer night long before dawn on Sunday July 15, 2001 and a crew of six Miller Environmental Group personnel, including myself, arrive at the Keyspan Energy (now National Grid) staging area at Morgan Ave in Maspeth for the demolition of the tanks, formally known as the Maspeth Holders, which were built in 1927 and 1946 to provide constant pressure in residential gas lines during high demand. Together, the tanks held 32 million cubic feet, enough to supply 160,000 homes for a month. They were visible from all five boroughs and a long standing part of the familiar Brooklyn skyline, but today would be their last. MEG was hired by Keyspan Energy to stand-by during the demolition in case of any environmental incident. I had started with MEG a mere 9 months earlier and this was my first of many unique experiences in my 10 years here with Miller. We arrived on-site at 0400 for the demolition scheduled for 0700. Many of the local neighborhood folks were out to enjoy the show as well. There was a feeling of anticipation in the air. Right on schedule at 0700, there was a tremendous explosion as the charges ripped through the steel of the two gas holders. Many people gasped and children covered their ears as the roar echoed through the streets. The steel tanks imploded and crumbled down into heaps at their base next to the ball fields on Vandoorvort Avenue. Just as quickly as it had begun the tanks were now collapsed to cheers and applause from the crowd.

What we thought was the end of the event turned out to be just the beginning. The area was closed for blocks by the NYPD and NYCOEM. Keyspan was tasked with cleaning up all debris from the surrounding area to be opened up to traffic prior to the following mornings commute. The MEG team quickly rolled into action. The original crew of six, with minimal equipment, quickly turned into a crew of 30 with decontamination stations, guzzlers, vacuum trucks, roll-off trucks, dump trucks, bulldozers, etc. All vehicles leaving the premises were decontaminated and debris was removed in the surrounding areas of the former Maspeth Holders. The Emergency Response portion of the work carried on into the wee hours of Monday morning.

This is one of many events and unique experiences I have had here in my time with MEG. It holds a fond place in my memory as my first “real” hands on Emergency Response experience. I still run into people to this day that clearly remember that day and I can say that I was a part of it. I look forward to many more unique and exciting experiences with the MEG family as we move forward through another 40 years.


Miller Environmental Group, Inc. (MEG) has been servicing the utility, transportation, petrochemical, insurance, and medical industries throughout the Northeastern United States for over 40 years. Today, MEG has multiple office locations staffed with HAZWOPER/ HAZMAT trained employees specializing in Emergency Spill Response, Industrial Cleaning, and Environmental Remediation services. MEG is a classified Oil Spill Removal Organization (OSRO) and is recognized by the USCG and US EPA. Specifically, MEG personnel have extensive experience and training in the areas of Oil Spill Response, Hazardous Materials Response, Groundwater Remediation, Industrial Cleaning, Pipeline Cleaning and Video Inspection. MEG currently provides Environmental and Industrial Services for petroleum companies, chemical manufacturers and processors, utilities, aviation-related companies, the railroad industry, consulting engineering firms, insurance companies, regulatory agencies, and various Fortune 500 companies.