In May 2018, along with representatives of the State of Maryland and the City of Baltimore, EPA initiated a removal site evaluation at an abandoned industrial facility in Baltimore. Beginning in 1979, operations at the facility involved the use of large quantities of chemicals for the development and production of various epoxy and later biofuel products. The one-acre property consists of two condemned warehouse buildings and a shared loading dock where more than one thousand abandoned drums and other containers of unknown contents were being stored. Drums, totes, tanks and other containers were also scattered throughout the property. Many of the containers were in poor condition and there were signs that some had spilled and/or were leaking their contents. Initial information indicated flammables, corrosives, hazardous substances and oils were present. Given the large amount of chemicals on-site and the potential threat to public health and safety, the City of Baltimore and the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) requested assistance from EPA. After meeting with the City and MDE, reviewing information provided by local and state officials and conducting a site inspection with the property owner, the OSC recommended a response action be taken and obtained funding to mitigate threats posed by the release or threat of release of hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants at the Site.
In August 2018, EPA obtained access to the Site under and administrative warrant to conduct additional site investigations and a limited response action to stabilize and mitigate threats at the Site. From August through November 2018, EPA and its contractors conducted on-site response actions to address leaking containers and spills from those containers; to sample, characterize and segregate hazardous substances in containers and to secure the Site. Disposal of hazardous substances and contaminated materials was not authorized under the warrant. EPA sought further access from the property owner and through the courts. In November 2019, access to complete response actions at the Site was provided by the estate of the late property owner. EPA and its contractors mobilized the resources needed to complete on-site response actions. Efforts focused on preparing waste in drums and other containers for off-site disposal, arranging for and conducting off-site disposal. Contractors overpacked compromised drums, transferred waste from containers that were not shippable to competent containers, consolidated wastes, staged containers for disposal, loaded and shipped containers to off-site disposal facilities.
During the week of March 16, 2020, all planned off-site disposal efforts were completed. Liquid, sludge and solid waste shipped to off-site disposal facilities included wastes contained in more that 650 drums and 50 totes; more than 3000 gallons of waste sludges shipped via vacuum truck; more than 12 tons of lab-pack waste in containers 5-gallons and less in size; more than 7 tons of bags of powders and solids on pallets and approximately 35 tons of site debris including more than 750 empty crushed 55-gallon drums. Five compressed gas cylinders were also shipped to an off-site disposal facility. On April 2, 2020, EPA and contractor personnel conducted a geophysical survey to determine if any underground storage tanks (USTs) are present. The survey did not locate any USTs. No further response activities are planned. All EPA and contractor personnel, equipment and support facilities have demobilized from the Site.