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Press Release

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EPA Environmental News
July 13, 2000

EPA Grants Hagerstown $100K to Redevelop Waste Site

PHILADELPHIA- The city of Hagerstown, Md. received a $100,000 grant today from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, one of 40 nationwide, to plan redevelopment of the city's west-end Central Chemical Superfund site.

"These grants, under the Superfund Redevelopment Initiative, will help return the nation's hazardous waste sites to productive use," said EPA Region III Administrator Bradley Campbell, from his Philadelphia office. The agency makes sure that cleanup remedies are in harmony with the planned reuse of the sites and that communities have meaningful input into the projects."

This grant is earmarked specifically for the Central Chemical Superfund Site which is located on 19 acres off Mitchell Avenue. Hagerstown's Department of Planning and Economic Development proposes to use the $100,000 grant to implement a 12-month community-based reuse assessment of the site, then recommend a reuse for the site. The city will encourage community input in the decision-making process and will work with a non-profit consensus-building firm to accomplish the goal.

Central Chemical operated from the early 1930s to the mid-1980s. The firm blended agricultural pesticides and fertilizers, creating waste and by-products that were allegedly disposed of in an old stone quarry on the property. Site contaminants include arsenic, lead, benzene, aldrin, chlordane, DDD, DDE, DDT,dieldrin, and methoxychlor.

In early 1997, EPA discovered that site contaminants had spread beyond the site and onto residential property. In the spring of 1997, the site owner agreed to put up a new fence to limit access to the contamination. In August of 1997, EPA entered into an agreement with seven parties for the cleanup, including Allied Signal, FMC, Novaritis, Olin, Shell Oil, union Carbide and Wilmington Securities to conduct the cleanup investigation at the site. EPA is reviewing the work plan and site investigation should begin in the fall. A public meeting will be held prior to the full start of site field work.

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