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EPA Oversees Public Water Hookup to 20 Limestone Road Homes

Release Date: 8/28/2000
Contact Information: Ruth Wuenschel, 215-814-5540

Ruth Wuenschel, 215-814-5540

CUMBERLAND, Md. – Starting today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will oversee Allegany County’s hookup of the public water supply to 20 residents who live near the Limestone Road Superfund hazardous waste site..

The county constructed a public waterline after contamination associated with the nearby Limestone Road site was discovered in local wells. The connections to the main waterline represent the final stage of a $2 million project that will ensure affected residents will start receiving clean, drinkable water after six years of living on bottled water.

“The construction of this waterline represents just how much can get accomplished with good working relationships between EPA, responsible parties, state and local government,” said Bradley M. Campbell, regional administrator of EPA’s mid-Atlantic region.

During the 1960s and 1970s the Limestone Road site was used to dispose of construction and demolition wastes. Maryland environmental officials asked the EPA to assess the sight after they found more than 100 tons of chromium, lead and cadmium buried there.

EPA placed the area on the Superfund National Priorities List of most hazardous waste sites in 1982 after discovering surface waters were contaminated with chromium, cadmium and zinc and a stream adjacent to the property was found to contain heavy metals associated with the site.

Working with the parties responsible for the site -- Fairchild Industries and Cumberland Cement & Supply -- EPA first addressed all immediate environmental and health threats by capping areas of contamination and fencing off the two landfills on either side of Limestone Road.

After studies found residential well water was contaminated with heavy metals associated with the site, the responsible parties entered into an agreement with EPA in 1994 by which they regularly tested the residential wells and provided bottled water to those residents whose water was not safe to drink.

With funding from the U.S. Agriculture Department and Maryland’s Water Management Division, Allegany County started constructing the several-hundred-foot waterline last August. At the rate of two homes connected to the waterline each day, EPA expects the final residential hookup to occur by the end of the month. After that, EPA will ensure that ground and surface waters continue to be monitored until the agency determines that this is no longer necessary.