Tidewater Environmental Project Overview

From the 1880’s through about the 1970’s, a manufactured gas plant (MGP) and electric generation facility operated at the end of Merry and Tidewater streets in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. The Tidewater MGP used industrial processes to produce gas from coal and oil. The gas was used primarily for the same purposes that natural gas is used today (lighting, cooking, and heating). MGPs, which were common before the region’s natural gas pipelines were built, often yielded by-products of the gas production process such as tars, sludges, and oils. The Tidewater electric generation facility used coal, oil, tar and other substances to produce electricity. The gas manufacturing and electric generating operations at the Tidewater facility were terminated in 1968 and 1975, respectively.

Certain process residuals from these gas and electric operations have remained in the environment at facilities such as these after they were closed down. The Narragansett Electric Company is responsible for the investigation and remediation of these historic site impacts. The by-products of gas production and power generation that remain on site are being addressed through remedial activities conducted by The Narragansett Electric Company under the approval and oversight of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM).

Today, The Narragansett Electric Company continues to operate a natural gas regulating and interchange station and an electrical substation and switch house on the site. The remainder of the site is currently vacant and security is provided by surrounding chain-link fencing.

This website provides information related to the former Tidewater MGP and power plant investigation and remediation efforts. We hope this website, a part of our public participation and outreach efforts, is helpful and informative. If you need additional information or have suggestions to make our website better, please contact us.

The site is situated between Taft Street, an extension of Tidewater Street and Thornton Street to the west, and the Seekonk River to the east. It consists of approximately 23 acres across seven separate lots.