Friday, December 7, 2012

Old Pesticide Manufacturing Site Has Imminent Cleanup

By: Duane Craig

Contaminated land on Whiteford Road in Whiteford, Md., nears a cleanup, according to this article. The soil on the site is laced with arsenic left behind from a chemical and fertilizer manufacturer.

Up until 1976, the manufacturer released waste from its mixing operations into a pond on the property. The waste then flowed through a ditch and into a nearby stream. While the chemical operation stopped using the pond in the 1970s, the adjacent packing company continued to use it for years afterward.

On the soil’s surface, arsenic has been recorded at 459 parts per billion, while deeper down it reaches as high as 1,660 parts per billion. The Environmental Protection Agency lists arsenic’s safe level in ground water as 10 parts per billion. The manufacturing of various pesticides and fertilizers was stopped in the mid-1980s and demolition waste from the building was dumped into the pond. The Maryland Department of Environment actively sampled for contamination in 1984 and in 2001. After in-depth studies of the properties between 2005 and 2008, the agency badgered potentially responsible parties to make plans for the cleanup.

Cleanup plans were completed by 2009. During the past three years, the responsible parties have been gathering permits, approvals, waivers and access agreements so the work could begin.

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