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Chemical Metals Industries

EPA Region 3 (Mid-Atlantic)


EPA ID# MDD980555478

2nd Congressional District

Last Update: January 2015

Other Names


Current Site Status

The Chemical Metals Site was not listed on the final National Priorities List, and is not a Superfund Site.

The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), with support from the EPA Region III Removal Program, addressed vapor intrusion at the Chemical Metals Site. Vapor intrusion can occur when volatile compounds (such as the contaminants present at Chemical Metals, see below) vaporize and move upwards, potentially entering homes and businesses.

The Chemical Metals site consists of two non-contiguous properties located along Annapolis Road in the Westport neighborhood of Baltimore. The two properties are identified below as "Site 1" and "Site 2":

Site 1 is currently vacant land (former Sinclair gas station) and is located adjacent to residential housing. At Site 1 vapor intrusion was evaluated by MDE and EPA, and MDE, subsequently, installed vapor intrusion mitigation systems in three row homes adjacent to Site 1. Further study of Site 1 was completed in 2014, and included additional soil and ground water samples collection. Further environmental cleanup work, if necessary, will be performed by MDE. Site 2 is an MDE building where vapor intrusion was evaluated by MDE. MDE constructed a vapor mitigation system to address vapor intrusion at the MDE building at Site 2.

Site Description

The Chemical Metals Industries (CMI) site is located on Annapolis Road in Baltimore, Maryland in the residential and commercial area of Westport. CMI manufactured copper compounds and recovered precious metals. The CMI site was divided into two areas, Site 1 and Site 2. Site 1 was a former gas station located at 2001 Annapolis Road and was used by CMI for the storage of miscellaneous solids, large quantities of scrap metal, acids, caustics, and neutral waste liquids. Site 2 is located at 2103 Annapolis Road and was used by CMI as an office, laboratory and manufacturing center.

As mentioned above, Site 1 is vacant land adjacent to residential housing, and Site 2 is the current location of an MDE building.

Site Responsibility
EPA's Superfund removal action performed the cleanup of this site.
NPL Listing History
This site was proposed for the National Priorities List on October 23, 1981 but was deleted on December 30, 1982 as a result of the initial Removal Action. It is currently not on the NPL.

Threats and Contaminants

The primary concern of the latest removal action was the presence of 1,1 Dichloroethane (DCE), Tetrachloroethene (PCE), and Trichloroethene (TCE) contamination at Site 2. These contaminants were present in surface and sub-surface soils. The route of exposure which posed a risk to human health was potential inhalation of vapors from the DCE, PCE, and TCE contamination. DCE, PCE and TCE are defined as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), or the Superfund law.

Cleanup Progress

In 1981, the EPA initiated a Removal Action at the CMI site in response to a request from MDE for technical and financial assistance. MDE had discovered numerous chemicals in deteriorated and damaged tanks, containers and drums that were leaking their contents onto the ground. In addition, highly acidic and highly basic materials, which are incompatible, were improperly stored together. For example, drums labeled "cyanide" were stored adjacent to drums containing acidic materials. If mixed together, these compounds could potentially release lethal hydrogen cyanide vapor which would have endangered the health of the residents living in the vicinity of CMI. The initial Removal Action involved the removal and disposal of all surface materials that represented an imminent hazard. Following the Removal Action, Site 1 was capped and sodded, and a portion of Site 2 was paved with a 2.5 inch layer of asphalt for use as a parking lot. MDE retained control of the site following the Removal Action, as well as the responsibility for groundwater monitoring.
In May 1998, at the request of the state, EPA inspected the site and found the asphalt cap at Site 2 deteriorating and cracking. Because contaminants could be exposed, the Removal Investigation concluded that the original Post-Removal Site Control was no longer effective for the site. The EPA, in consultation with the State, conducted a Fund-financed removal of contaminated soils remaining under the deteriorating cap at Site 2 to eliminate or significantly reduce the threat posed to public health, welfare, and the environment by the contamination.
In consideration for EPA's use of Superfund monies to conduct the removal activities at Site 2, EPA and MDE mutually agreed to a State Memorandum of Agreement (SMOA). The SMOA stated that MDE would commence post-removal activities to ensure the effectiveness and integrity of the Removal Action once EPA's activities were completed. Under the SMOA, MDE acknowledged that the following post-removal site control activities may be required:

  1. provide for future operation and maintenance of the paved area at Site 2;
  2. continue monitoring for residual contamination, if any, under the office building;
  3. continue groundwater monitoring, and
  4. assume responsibility for any and all future work necessary and appropriate at the site.

EPA completed the last Removal Action in November 1998. Site 2 is now being monitored and maintained by MDE which maintains an Emergency Response field office there.


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