Jump to main content.

Southern Maryland Wood Treating

Construction Finished!

EPA Cleanup Complete Site Ready for Reuse

The cleanup of the Southern Maryland Wood Treating Superfund Site (SMWT) is complete.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cleaned the site to residential standards. The SMWT site is clean enough for any desired use. As a result, the Federal government will place no restrictions on the future use of the property.

It is up to local residents and local government to determine the future use of this property.

Wildlife Returns To Site

The SMWT Site includes wetlands, a pond, and a stream. Surrounding land is mainly forest and fields with some residential properties to the east (?). Visitors to the site have reported finding evidence that ducks, deer, turtles, and beaver are now frequenting the site. When the site was revegetated, grains and wildflowers capable of supporting a diverse wildlife population were chosen.

A view of Pit 4, formerly the most heavily contaminated area of the site, after it was cleaned and revegetated with native grains and wildflowers

Site History

The SMWT site is an inactive wood treating facility located in Hollywood, St. Mary's County, Maryland. From 1965 until 1978, 25 acres of the 96-acre property were used for wood treatment operations. The treatment process used creosote and pentachlorophenol (PCP). During site operations, soil and ground shallow water in the active area of the site and surface water and sediment in an adjacent stream became contaminated with the wood treating chemicals. The deep aquifer, which is the source of local drinking water, was never contaminated by the site. A clay layer underlying the shallow aquifer acted as a barrier and prevented contamination from reaching this depth.

Between 1998 and December 2000, EPA excavated approximately 270,000 tons of creosote and PCP-soaked soils and sediments from five pits on the site and from an adjacent stream. These materials were then processed by thermal desorption to remove hazardous substances, and the resulting clean soil was returned to the excavation sites. During the fall of 2000, the cleaned soil was backfilled into the excavated areas after laboratory testing confirmed that the soil cleanup criteria were met. The site surface was then regraded and revegetated with a diverse mixture of wildflowers and grains suitable for re-establishing wildlife habitat.

Between October and December 2000, the thermal desorber units were shut down and removed from the site. Two water treatment plants used during the cleanup were also dismantled and removed from the site. Because the source of contamination has been eliminated, ground water treatment is no longer needed. Ground water wells placed around the perimeter of the site will be routinely monitored to measure the effectiveness of the cleanup. Sampling results, to date, indicate that the cleanup was successful. The monitoring will be conducted according to the schedule established in EPA's Post Closure Monitoring Plan, dated November 2000.

For Further Information

visit the local information repository at:

St. Mary's County Memorial Library
Route 245
Leonardtown, Maryland 20650

or contact:

Community Involvement Coordinator
Carrie Deitzel (3HS43)

Remedial Project Manager
Robert Sanchez (3HS31)

Ms. Deitzel and Mr. Sanchez may also be reached at 1-800-553-2509 or at:

SMWT Web Site:

Mailcode 3HS23
1650 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029

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

Local Navigation

Jump to main content.