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Mid-Atlantic Wood Preserves, Inc

EPA Region 3 (Mid-Atlantic)

Anne Arundel County

EPA ID# MDD064882889

2nd Congressional District

Last Update: July 2012
No future updates

Other Names


Current Site Status

All cleanup construction activities were completed at this site in September 1993. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) deleted the site from the National Priorities List (NPL) on July 18, 2000. EPA conducted a five-year review in August 1998 and determined that the remedy remains protective of human health and the environment. The second five-year review that was completed in August 2003 found that the cleanup continued to be protective of human health and the environment. The third five-year review was completed in September 2008. The third five-year review the implemented to be protective of human health and the environment. During the five-year inspection EPA found that there was a Underground Storage Tank (UST) installed in the contaminated area underneath the asphalt cap which was not previously identified during remedial action. The current owner of the property did obtain the UST permit from the state and as such it is operated under the permit requirements. The third five-year review concluded that current conditions with UST at the site would not pose any threat to human health and the environment, other than short term exposure to the works installing the UST. The third five-year recommended to conduct annual inspection of the Site to ensure that no new activities were undertaken which would compromise the protectiveness of the implemented remedy. November 2009, EPA conducted a routine annual inspection of the Site and did not find any.

Site Description

The Mid-Atlantic Wood Preservers site in Harmans, Anne Arundel County, Maryland is a 3.2-acre site which pressure-treated lumber from 1974 through 1993. The operation employed a two-part process to preserve the wood with chromated copper arsenate (CCA). In the first part, workers pressure-treated lumber with CCA solution in a housed processing plant; in the second, the wood was allowed to drip and dry.

In 1978, contamination was discovered when the drinking water in an adjacent homeowner's private well turned green; the same color as CCA solution. Subsequent analyses of water collected from the residential well revealed concentrations of chromium at 19,500 milligrams per liter (i.e., 195 times greater than the legal maximum contaminant level). Surface and subsurface soil is contaminated with chromium and arsenic. The contamination was determined to emanate from two sources: overflow from a CCA preservative storage tank and drippings from the wood drying area. The community surrounding the site is mixed industrial, commercial, and residential; the closest residence is within 200 feet of the site. The site is adjacent to the Baltimore-Washington International airport. Approximately 400 people live within a 1-mile radius of the site.

Site Responsibility
Cleanup of this site was the responsibility of federal and state governments and Mid-Atlantic Wood Preservers, a party potentially responsible for contamination.
NPL Listing History
This site was proposed to the National Priorities List of the most serious uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites requiring long term remedial action on October 15, 1984. The site was formally added to the list June 10, 1986 making it eligible for federal cleanup funds. The site was deleted from the list on July 18, 2000.

Threats and Contaminants

Groundwater beneath and down gradient of the site was contaminated with arsenic and chromium from a 1978 spill of CCA solution, but sampling shows no remaining health concerns due to that release. Heavy metals including arsenic and chromium from former process wastes are present at elevated concentrations in the surface soils on the site. People are at risk if they accidentally ingest or inhale dust from contaminated soils. The site has been paved with asphalt to prevent the threat of direct contact. The wetlands and stream areas near the site are not contaminated.

Contaminant descriptions and risk factors are available from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, an arm of the CDC.

Cleanup Progress

In 1980, Mid-Atlantic Wood Preservers, the sole potential responsible party (PRP), party responsible for site contamination, removed 26 cubic yards of highly contaminated soil located directly beneath the CCA storage tank's overflow pipe in compliance with an administrative order issued by the State of Maryland. The final cleanup decision was issued by EPA in December 1990. In compliance with a unilateral order issued by The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the PRP removed and consolidated 90 cubic yards of arsenic and chromium contaminated soils from an adjacent parcel onto the site property. Construction of an asphalt cap over the entire 3-acre property was completed in September 1993.

In January 1994, EPA entered into a prospective purchaser agreement with an adjacent property owner, Gunther's Transport, which currently uses the property for extra corporate parking. Gunther's Transport owns the property and is performing the long-term monitoring of the Site.


Site Contacts

Administrative Record Locations

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