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Central Chemical

Hagerstown, Washington County, Maryland
March 2003 Fact Sheet

Site Investigation Begins at Superfund Site

You are Invited to Attend the Public Availability Session

on March 6, 2003, 5:30–8:30 P.M. at the Western Heights Middle School Cafeteria

Ask questions about the Site in an informal setting.Receive more Site information.

Central Chemical Site Contacts

If you would like more information on any of the topics in this fact sheet or have general questions, please contact one of the representatives listed below:

Eric Newman (3HS23)
Remedial Project Manager
U.S. EPA Region 3
1650 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone (215) 814 3237

Patrick Gaughan (3HS43)
Community Involvement Coordinator
U.S. EPA Region 3
1060 Chapline St.
Wheeling, WV 26003
Phone (304) 234 0238

Andrew Zarins
Waste Management Administration, MDE
1800 Washington Blvd.
Suite 625
Baltimore, MD 21230
Phone (410) 537-3419

What is Happening at the Central Chemical Superfund Superfund Site?

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), with the support of the Maryland Department of Environment (MDE), has approved a plan to investigate and decide how to clean up the Central Chemical Superfund Site in Hagerstown, Maryland (see site map). EPA decides what level of cleanup is necessary and how best to clean up contaminated properties by completing a Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study at the Site. This fact sheet will provide a brief overview of the project.

Who is Doing the Work?

The Central Chemical Site was placed on the National Priorities List, making the property eligible for federal attention under the "Superfund" program. The Superfund law and regulations spell out exactly how these Sites are to be investigated and cleanup decisions made. EPA has the authority to require companies who have some responsibility for contamination at a Superfund site to clean it up.

Seven of the corporations identified by EPA as potentially responsible parties (PRPs) at the Site agreed to conduct the Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study and to reimburse the government for its expenses overseeing that work. The cooperating group of PRPs hired the engineering firm URS Corporation to complete the Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study process. All work performed at the Site is subject to the review and approval of EPAwith the support of MDE.

Investigation Begins

Field work supporting the Remedial Investigation will begin in March. The three primary objectives of the Remedial Investigation are to:

The first two objectives identified above will be accomplished by collecting samples from the on-site soil and groundwater, as well as surface water and sediments down stream from the Site in Marsh Run and Antietam Creek. The approved plan calls for completing the sampling activities in two phases. The Phase I sampling will be completed during the Spring of 2003. The results of the first phase of the investigation will guide the development of a second phase. The Phase II sampling plan will fill information gaps necessary to understand the risks presented by the Site. The Phase II sampling will likely begin by the end of the year. All sampling results will be reported to EPA and MDE and made available to the public at the site information repository at the Washington County Free Library, South Potomac Street, Hagerstown, MD.

The primary conclusion of the Remedial Investigation will be the results of the human health and ecological risk assessments. These risk assessments will calculate the potential risk that the Site may present if not cleaned up, considering current and future land use scenarios. If the risk assessment finds that the Site presents an unacceptable risk cleanup options will be evaluated in the Feasibility Study.

What You Will See on the Site

When the field work begins, the public can expect to see workers taking samples and installing ground water monitoring wells using a standard well drilling rig. Site workers will be wearing hard hats, steel-tipped boots and white protective coveralls for easy disposal. A site health and safety officer will be there and air monitoring will be performed to ensure the work is completed safely. The environmental sampling will not affect nearby residents.

Workers will be at the Site collecting the Phase I samples for a few weeks, then several months will pass without much activity at the Site. After we get the laboratory results from Phase I, the workers will be back at the Site to collect the Phase II samples.

How Does EPA Select a Cleanup Plan?

Cleanup options to reduce the risk presented by hazardous substances at the Site will be developed and evaluated in the Feasibility Study. The Feasibility Study will begin by establishing objectives which would address the problems presented by contamination at the Site. For example, one objective will likely be to prevent contact with contaminated soil. Next, all engineering options capable of meeting the objectives will be considered. Each potential cleanup option will be compared and contrasted against the following nine criteria:

  1. Overall Protection of Human Health and the Environment
  2. Compliance with Applicable or Relevant and Appropriate Requirements
  3. Long-term Effectiveness
  4. Reduction of Toxicity, Mobility, or Volume through Treatment
  5. Short-term Effectiveness
  6. Implementability.
  7. Cost Effectiveness
  8. State Acceptance
  9. Community Acceptance

Based on the conclusions of the Feasibility Study, EPA will release a “Proposed Plan” for review and comment by the public and host a public meeting to discuss the Site. The Proposed Plan will summarize the Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study findings and identify a preferred cleanup alternative for consideration by the community. Only after EPA and MDE fully consider public comments will EPA issue what is termed a “Record Of Decision.” This decision will detail the selected cleanup option and provide the rationale upon which it was based.

Join the Mailing List

If you would like your name added to the mailing list for information regarding the Central Chemical Site, please include your name, address (street, city, state, and zip code), and phone number and mail it to:

Patrick Gaughan (3HS43)
Community Involvement Coordinator
U.S EPA Region 3
Hazardous Site Cleanup Division
410 Methodist Building
1060 Chapline Street
Wheeling, WV 26003

Central Chemical Site Map

Central Chemical Site Map

enlarge map

Brief Site Description

The Central Chemical Superfund Site, located off Mitchell Avenue in Hagerstown, Maryland, functioned as a blender of agricultural pesticides and fertilizers. Raw pesticides manufactured at other locations were blended with inert materials to produce commercial grade products. Most of the pesticide production ceased in 1965 due to a fire. Central Chemical stopped all operations at the plant in 1984.

The owner of the property is currently leasing several small areas of the Site and garage structures to individuals who are in the vehicle repair and restoration business. A recycling business is also located on the property.

Contaminants found at elevated levels in the Site soil, ground water, surface water, sediment and/or in the tissue of fish caught downstream of the Site, include arsenic, lead, benzene and several pesticides including DDT, DDE, DDD, aldrin, chlordane, dieldrin, and endrin.

Exposure to site contamination is low since the Site is fenced to prevent extensive or prolonged contact with the contaminated soil. The citizens of Hagerstown receive their drinking water from the municipal supply which pumps water from the Potomac River upgradient of any site impacts.

Region 3 | Mid-Atlantic Cleanup | Mid-Atlantic Superfund |EPA Home | EPA Superfund Homepage

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