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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Sherwin-Williams Company in Baltimore, Maryland

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Multiple environmental investigations and remedial actions have been completed at the Facility since its acquisition from the Baltimore Paint and Chemical Company (Baltimore Paint).  Multiple environmental investigations and remedial actions have been completed at the Facility since 1980. Many of these environmental actions were taken in response to conditions that were discovered during the removal of historical Underground Storage Tanks (USTs). Most significantly among these was the discovery of contamination during the April 18, 1986, removal of Baltimore Paint's TCA UST. The removal of the TCA UST led to early site investigation and subsequent remediation at the Facility. That work was completed pursuant to a Administrative Consent Order (C0-87-1 02), dated May 8, 1997, between Sherwin Williams and the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE). MDE provided regulatory oversight of the site investigation and remediation until March 17, 2005, when Sherwin-Williams entered into a Facility Lead Agreement (FLA) with EPA for the performance of a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Facility Investigation (RFI) and Corrective Measures Study (CMS). EPA identified fourteen (14) potential Solid Waste Management Units (SWMUs) and Areas of Concern (AOC) for  investigation. RCRA investigations and Corrective Action activities have since been conducted under the Facility Lead Agreement.

Cleanup Status

On February 11, 2015, EPA issued a Statement of Basis (SB) in which it described the information gathered during environmental investigations at the Facility and proposed a Final Remedy for the Facility.

Consistent with the public participation provisions under RCRA, EPA solicited public comment on its proposed Final Remedy. On February 11, 2015, notice of the SB was published on the EPA website and in the Daily Record newspaper. The thirty (30) day comment period ended on March 13, 2015.

Since EPA did not receive any comments on the SB and EPA has determined it is not necessary to modify the proposed Final Remedy set forth in the SB based on the comment; thus, the remedy proposed in the SB is the Final Remedy selected by EPA for the Facility on March 31, 2015.

EPA's Final Remedy for the Facility consists of the following:

  •   Monitoring natural attenuation until drinking water standards are met 
  •   Compliance with and maintenance of land and groundwater use restrictions

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Site Description

Interactive Map of Sherwin-Williams Company, Baltimore, Maryland

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The Sherwin-Williams Company facility is a 23-acre parcel in the City of Baltimore, Maryland, used since the 1940s to manufacture consumer and industrial products, primarily paints and other coatings. Prior to acquisition of the plant by The Sherwin-Williams Company in 1980, the plant was operated by the Artra Group, Inc. and by Baltimore Paint and Chemical Company. The plant is bounded on two sides by railroad tracks and industrial/commercial areas. Low-rise multifamily housing and Hollins Ferry Road border the property to the southeast and southwest. The parcel is fully developed and the plant is typically active around the clock. Engineered features of the property include building structures and process areas, indoor and outdoor raw materials above-ground storage tanks (ASTs), solvent separator tanks, rail car and tank wagon unloading/loading areas, and above-grade process piping lines. The plant is serviced by railcar and truck traffic although access is restricted by site security including an eight-foot fence topped with both razor and barbed wire and a 24-hour security force.

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Contaminants at this Facility

Groundwater contains residual levels of several compounds including, mainly, toluene, 1,1,1-trichloroethane (TCA) (and breakdown compounds of 1,1-DCE, 1,1-DCA), benzene, ethylbenzene, xylenes, methyl ethyl ketone (MEK), methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK), and trimethylbenzenes. Soil is impacted primarily with petroleum hydrocarbons including toluene, ethylbenzene, xylenes, and 1,3,5 trimethylbenzene and 1,2,4-trimethylbenzene.

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    Institutional and Engineering Controls at this Facility

    Institutional Controls include:

    • Monitoring natural attenuation until drinking water standards are met
    • Compliance with and maintenance of an EPA approved groundwater monitoring plan
    • Installation of a vapor intrusion control system in new structures constructed
      above the contaminated groundwater plume or within 100-feet of the perimeter of
      the contaminated groundwater plume
    • Compliance with and maintenance of land and groundwater use restrictions

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    Land Reuse Information at this Facility

    The facility is under continued use.

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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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