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Enforcement

Case Summary: Prospective Purchaser Agreement Promotes Cleanup and Redevelopment of Former Steel Mill on Sparrows Point in Maryland

In September 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) entered into a prospective purchaser agreement (PPA) with Sparrows Point Terminal LLC (SPT), regarding cleanup and redevelopment of a former steel mill located in the Sparrows Point area of Baltimore, Md. The PPA will result in $3 million for EPA assessment and remediation work of any contamination of off-shore areas around Sparrows Point. Under the agreement, the prospective purchaser may also provide $100,000 initially and up to $50,000 per year thereafter for EPA’s oversight costs. The state of Maryland entered into a similar agreement with SPT for remediation costs at the site estimated at $48 million which was assured through a $43 million trust fund and a $5 million letter of credit.

The PPA provides SPT with liability protection under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).

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Information about Sparrows Point Terminal LLC

Sparrows Point Terminal LLC is a limited liability company with its principal place of business located in Northbrook, Ill.

Information about Sparrows Point Site

The Sparrows Point Site, a 3,100 acre peninsula reaching into the Baltimore Harbor in Baltimore County, Md., was home to a steel manufacturing operation for over 100 years which resulted in significant contamination both at the facility and off shore areas.

RCRA site wide investigation studies have found elevated levels of a broad range of contaminants at the property that are associated with steel making processes, including: antimony, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, iron, lead, manganese, nickel, tin, ammonia, benzene, cyanide, ethyl benzene, ethylene glycol, hydrogen cyanide, hydrogen sulfide, naphthalene, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls, pentachlorophenol, phenols, pyrene, sodium phenolate, styrene, sulfuric acid, toluene, trichloroethylene, xylene, coal tar, oils, lime sludge, waste alkaline rinses, and mill scale.

Since the mid-1990s, EPA and the Maryland Department of the Environment have worked with a variety of owners and operators through both judicial and bankruptcy proceedings to address the contamination at the site.

SPT intends to purchase, clean up, and redevelop the property into a transportation, manufacturing, and logistics industrial campus.

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Public Comment Period

The PPA was open for public comments through October 18, 2014. EPA is now reviewing the received comments.

Contact Information

Phil Page
Senior Attorney-Advisor
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania, Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20460
202-564-4211
page.phil@epa.gov

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