SPCC Upgrades – Spill Prevention, Control & Countermeasures

Queens/Brooklyn/Staten Island, New York

Con Edison of New York, Inc.

Project Dates:
June 2019 - July 2022


• Construction of 85 oil containing equipment containment moats
• New reinforced concrete slab and/or walls
• 18 locations across Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island
• Excavation of impacted soil
• Modify substation grounding system
• Waterproofing and installation of steel beams and grating.


Design build project was for NYSDEC mandated SPCC upgrades at 18 active Con Edison Substations throughout three NYC boroughs. The work entailed the design and construction of new reinforced concrete slab and/or walls to enlarge existing containment or create a new moat around transformer/reactors. There were 85 total concrete containments for Oil Containing Equipment (OCE) that were designed and constructed. In addition to constructing and designing the containment moats, existing below grade structures were removed as necessary to create the new required volume. The work also included the extension and replacement of grounding grid and grounding connections to equipment and structures, vacuum excavation of contaminated soil, modifications to the grounding system, waterproofing and installation of steel beams and grating.


One of the major challenges was meeting the schedule milestones. Multiple design teams worked simultaneously to get ahead of construction while work was conducted at 7 locations simultaneously. Working around 345KV of power had its own concerns, mostly to keep workers safe and protecting surrounding utilities and infrastructure. The design team had its own challenges with the start of the pandemic since site visits were limited. Stringent testing was needed to make sure the system was designed efficiently to seal from oil spills and not cause damage to nearby utilities or leak.


Superintendents and lead managers were placed in each priority work location to make sure work was done safely and on schedule. To ensure safe work around high voltage areas, the team followed a strict safety program including Con Edison HV training and having meetings prior to work. No accidents were reported. Due to covid-19 lockdown, worksite visits were limited, so 3D 360 scans conducted on all work locations helped designers create their drawings and stay on schedule. A strict quality control program was enforced for OCE testing which required to maintain water for a specific amount of time while not causing damage to surrounding feeders or grounding grids.