U.S. Water News Online
WASHINGTON -- More than 60 percent of Superfund sites in Maryland have final cleanup activities completed, underway, or in design, according to Superfund officials who met with Maryland's congressional delegation this week. In addition, taxpayers have saved almost $90 million in hazardous waste cleanup costs because the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pursued reimbursement from the parties responsible for contamination.
The briefing informed Maryland's members of Congress of the impact of Superfund administrative reforms in the state and region, and described EPA accomplishments during the period of accelerated cleanup.
Maryland currently has 18 Superfund sites on the National Priorities List (NPL). Cleanup construction is complete at three sites: Chemical Metals, middletown Road Dump, and Mid-Atlantic Wood Preservers. Construction is underway at seven sites: Aberdeen Proving Ground-Edgewood, Aberdeen Proving Ground-Michaelsville, Kane & Lombard St. Drums, Limestone Road, Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Sand, Gravel and Stone, and Southern Maryland Wood Treating.
Cleanup is in the design phase at Woodlawn Co. Landfill and a cleanup remedy has been selected at Bush Valley Landfill. Cleanup studies are underway at two sites: Ordnance Products, Inc. and Spectron, Inc. And studies are pending at four sites: Belsville Agricultural Research, Central Chemical, Indian Head Naval Surface Warfare Center, and Ft. George G. Meade. In the last 19 months, Maryland has requested seven sites be placed on the National Priorities List.
Superfund has also performed 60 emergency removals of toxic substances in Maryland, four so far in fiscal 1997.
"Superfund is making a difference in Maryland," said Voltaggio. "Our objectives have been to protect human health and the environment while promoting fairness and efficiency. The Superfund program we have now is doing that better."
Under a program of administrative reforms, EPA uses a variety of settlement practices to solve Superfund problems in Maryland. Among these are:
An Enforcement First strategy has ensured that responsible parties pay for or perform 100 percent of the ongoing long-term cleanup costs in Maryland.
Brownfields Projects. Brownfields are mildly contaminated sites targeted for redevelopment. EPA has funded a national brownfields pilot in Baltimore City at up to $200,000, and may fund a regional brownfields project in Baltimore County this year.
Voluntary Cleanup of Non-NPL Sites. EPA is providing funding to Maryland to develop a state program to encourage private parties to voluntarily undertake the cleanup of less seriously contaminated sites. Maryland is the first state in the region to sign an agreement dividing the responsibilities between the state and EPA for cleanup at non-NPL sites.
Getting Sites Off "the list." EPA has removed almost 300 Maryland sites from its waste site list, thereby eliminating a barrier to redevelopment.
Updating Cleanup Solutions based on new scientific information. Fifteen remedies were reviewed and nine were updated, resulting in $38 million in cost reductions in the mid-Atlantic region.
The National Remedy Review Board is a board of technical and policy experts organized to promote cost effectiveness and consistency in long-term cleanups. There is a potential reduction of $15.5 million in the five-state mid-Atlantic region.
Superfund Accelerated Cleanup Model speeds cleanup by consolidating actions. Eight sites in the mid-Atlantic region did not need placement on the National Priorities List as a result of accelerated cleanup.
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