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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: FMC Agricultural Products Group in Baltimore, Maryland

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This facility is approximately 84 years old and is located on Curtis Bay, in Baltimore, Maryland. FMC has ended operations at the Curtis Bay agricultural chemicals facility and the majority of the buildings and equipment have been dismantled. FMC is leasing the property to Energy Answers International to develop a Resource Recovery System at this location.

Cleanup Status

In November 1989, EPA issued a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) corrective action permit to the company to proceed with site cleanup. EPA and the facility worked jointly to complete the requirements of the permit which included:

  • Providing supplemental groundwater characterization of the facility and submittal of a Groundwater Characterization Report
  • Submittal of a Contaminant Characterization Summary
  • Preparation of a Corrective measures Report identifying alternatives for facility remediation
  • Development of a Corrective Measures Plan

The corrective measures study recommended a pump and treat system to remove contaminated groundwater from the underlying aquifer below the plant and to prevent its migration into Curtis Bay. After treatment, the groundwater is then sent to the publicly owned treatment works (POTW). The system’s construction was completed in May 1997. The system has been operational since that time. The pump and treat system will be operational while the groundwater has contaminants that are above a health based protective level. The facility provides EPA Region III with quarterly reports addressing the groundwater collection and treatment system. Based on the results provided in the quarterly reports, a Visualization of Groundwater Contamination Report was prepared by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers for EPA in April 2003. The purpose of the report was to provide a better understanding of the contaminant plumes, determine the effectiveness of the groundwater extraction system, and to develop groundwater elevation contours for the FMC site. EPA has reviewed that data and will be working with FMC to maximize the effectiveness of the groundwater collection system. FMC has recently completed a round of bioassay testing that is part of the groundwater monitoring program for that facility. EPA has evaluated and discussed those results with FMC. A Statement of Basis was developed that proposed a remedy for the Facility. The proposed remedy was presented to the public for a 30-day comment period starting on September 9, 2010. A Final Agency Decision for the property was signed on April 4, 2011. Elements of the Final Decision include: Restoration of contaminated ground water; control of off-site migration of groundwater; an investigation of impacts of Facility-related contaminated groundwater on Stonehouse Cove and Curtis Bay; and the implementation of institutional controls.

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Site Description

Interactive Map of FMC  Agricultural Products Group, Baltimore, Maryland

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Located in Baltimore, Maryland, the FMC Corporation Site encompasses approximately 90 acres. The facility was built by previous owners in 1915 as an ethanol and acetone production facility to help provide war materials. In 1954 FMC purchased the site and had used it until its closure for the production of agricultural and industrial organic chemicals. Energy Answers International is currently leasing the property from FMC and intends to construct a Resource Recovery System at the site.

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Contaminants at this Facility

Main contaminants in the groundwater and surface water are benzene, ethyl benzene, chlorobenzene, substituted chlorobenzene isomers and phenolic compounds.

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Institutional and Engineering Controls at this Facility

Institutional controls will include, but may not be limited to, an environmental covenant to be entered pursuant to the Maryland Uniform Environmental Covenants Act, Maryland Environment Code, Sections 1-801 to 1-815 (UECA) and to be recorded with the deed for the Facility property. The Environmental Covenant will be required to include the following:

  • A restriction on the use of groundwater beneath the Facility for potable purposes or any other use that could result in human exposure until cleanup levels are achieved, unless such use is required by the Remedy
  • A restriction on well drilling at the Facility without prior EPA approval, to prevent inadvertent exposure to the contaminated groundwater and adverse affects to the Remedy
  • A restriction that the Facility not be used for any purpose other than industrial unless it is demonstrated to EPA that another use will not pose a threat to human health or the environment and EPA provides prior written approval for such use
  • A requirement that any earth moving activities by any entity on Facility property, including construction and drilling, be done in accordance with the EPA-approved Soil Management Plan
  • A requirement that a vapor control system, the design of which shall be approved in advance by EPA, is installed in any existing and all new structures constructed at the Facility

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Land Reuse Information at this Facility

Future site use is yet to be determined.

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Site Responsibility at this Facility

RCRA Corrective Action activities at this facility are being conducted under the direction of the EPA Region 3 with assistance from Maryland Department of Environmental Protection.

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