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Central Chemical

Hagerstown, Washington County, Maryland
March 2004 Fact Sheet

This fact sheet was jointly produced by EPA and the Cooperating Companies with input from MDE, MDBED, and the Community Liaison Panel.

Central Chemical Site Contacts

Information about the Central Chemical Site, including minutes of the Community Liaison Panel meetings, is available in the Reference Department of the Washington County Free Library, 100 S. Potomac Street, Hagerstown. Information also is available at Central Chemical pages on EPA’s website or by contacting:

Central Chemical Site Cooperating Companies
Community Liaison Panel
(800) 784-4343
Contact: Tricia Clendenen, Facilitator

Central Chemical Site Cooperating Companies
Community Information Line
(800) 242-9317
Contact: Roberta Fowlkes

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Superfund Site Information
(800) 553-2509
Contacts: Carrie Deitzel (Community Involvement Coordinator), Eric Newman (Remedial Project Manager)

Maryland Department of the Environment
(410) 537-3440
Contact: Kim Lemaster, Federal Superfund Division
MDE Factsheets

What is Happening at the Central Chemical Superfund Superfund Site?

The investigation of the Central Chemical Superfund Site in Hagerstown, Maryland (see map on back) is being conducted in two Phases. Phase I sampling was completed and a report was compiled. Field work supporting the Phase II environmental study is scheduled to begin in March. The Phase II plan to continue investigating and preparing to clean up the property was reviewed and partially approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) in March 2004. The scope of the Phase I work was detailed in the Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study Work Plan which was approved by EPA in 2003.

When the Phase II field work begins, the public will see workers taking samples and installing additional ground water monitoring wells using a standard well drilling rig. Workers will be at the site collecting the samples for several weeks. Site workers will be wearing hard hats, steel-tipped boots, and disposable, protective coveralls. A site health and safety officer will be present, and air monitoring will be performed to ensure the work is completed safely. The environmental sampling will not pose a risk to nearby residents.

Community Panel Provides Input to Site Investigation

A Community Liaison Panel was formed in April 2003. It provides for open discussion and the exchange of ideas, concerns, and information regarding the community and the Superfund investigation of the site. Twenty Hagerstown residents, representing a wide variety of local interests, are members. Representatives of the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Maryland Departments of the Environment and of the Business and Economic Development, and the companies funding the work also participate in the meetings.

All meetings are open to the public. The panel meets every other month at the Haven Lutheran Church, 1033 Haven Road, to discuss progress, activities, and community concerns related to the site investigation and to become better informed about the regulatory process and the scientific and technical issues that will affect future decisions. Sessions begin at 5:30 p.m. with refreshments and socializing before the formal meetings begin at 6:00 p.m. The next meeting is scheduled for June 10, 2004.

Environmental Study at the Central Chemical Site

EPA, with input from MDE, will decide what level of cleanup is necessary and how best to clean up contaminated properties based on a Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study of the Site.

The three primary objectives of the Remedial Investigation are to:

The first two objectives will be accomplished by collecting samples of the on-site soil and ground water, as well as surface water and sediments down stream from the site in Marsh Run 2 and Antietam Creek. Phase I sampling confirmed that pesticides and metals are present at elevated levels on the site. To a lesser degree, pesticides were detected in surface water and sediment samples from Antietam Creek. Phase I ground water sampling was not sufficient to completely characterize ground water but the impact of site-related contaminants appears to be limited.

The Phase II field sampling which is about to begin, taken together with recently completed Phase I sampling, will fill information gaps necessary to understand the risks presented by the site. 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. It is expected that the Remedial Investigation will be completed at the end of 2004. A full report will be made available to the public. If the risk assessment finds that the site presents an unacceptable risk, cleanup options will be evaluated during the Feasibility Study.

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

The Feasibility Study conclusions will be used by EPA to develop a “Proposed Plan” that will be presented to the public for review and comment. A public meeting will be held to discuss the site and the Proposed Plan. The Proposed Plan will summarize the Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study findings and identify a preferred cleanup alternative for the community’s consideration. 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.

After the Record of Decision is issued, the project will move into the Remedial Design and Remedial Action phase of the Superfund process. It is in the Remedial Action phase that residents will see the site cleaned up. This entire procedure will take place over several years.

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:

Carrie Deitzel
Community Involvement Coordinator
U.S EPA
1650 Arch Street, 3HS43
Philadelphia, PA 19103

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 blending and packaging facility to mix agricultural pesticides and fertilizers, produced elsewhere, with the inert ingredients needed to dilute them to commercial product concentrations. Most of the pesticide product blending ceased in 1965 due to a fire, and all operations at the plant stopped in 1984. Contaminants of concern at the site include arsenic, lead, benzene and several pesticides including DDT, DDE, DDD, aldrin, chlordane, dieldrin, and endrin. Exposure to site contamination is low because the Site is fenced to prevent extensive or prolonged contact with the contaminated soil, and Hagerstown residents receive their drinking water from the municipal supply which pumps water from the Potomac River upgradient of any site impacts.

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