For the past 15 years, Andrew Argeski has been focused on one thing: Replacing PSE&G’s older cast iron and unprotected steel gas lines with high-density polyethylene plastic to reduce methane emissions.
“62 years is the lifespan of an average gas pipe, but we have gas mains out there from pre-1900,” said Andrew, Planning & Design Manager, Gas Asset Strategy.
Growing up, Andrew always was the first to volunteer for park and river cleanups. In his studies at Dartmouth College, he became passionate about the outdoors. When he graduated, he was determined to find a job that allowed him to connect with nature and give back in a way that helped protect the environment for everyone.
Andrew works with Gas Operations to manage the largest gas main replacement program in the country. He said the program is critical to PSEG’s climate goals. So, Andrew is constantly looking at new technology and innovative ways to safely reduce gas emissions. The teams are almost halfway done, having replaced 1,450 miles of gas lines, reducing methane emissions by nearly a quarter of a million metric tons – the equivalent of taking 54,000 cars off the road.
“We’re very forward thinking for a utility company when it comes to the environment,” he said.
In addition to his day job, Andrew has volunteered as a trail supervisor and certified chainsaw operator at Harriman State Park and Bear Mountain State Park for the last 12 years.
As a chainsaw operator, Andrew was required to go through an extensive three-year practical training program. He walks the park with other volunteers, clearing the trails, trimming overgrown trees and bushes, and installing trail blazes so people don’t get lost. Whenever there are hurricanes or severe storms, the volunteer crew clears the fallen trees to provide continued access to the park and maintain public safety.
“It’s a lot of strenuous work because you’re carrying all your equipment out with you back and forth and then stopping to cut trees apart,” he said.
Andrew also nurtures a large garden full of native plants and grows apple trees, berries and vegetables. When time permits, he enjoys backpacking and exploring glaciers.
If Andrew could have one superhero power to restore the planet, he would be able to purify water so everyone could have access to clean water.