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Reference News Release: EPA Accepting Comment on Proposed Agreement for the Purchase of Sparrows Point Facility

Release Date: 09/18/2014
Contact Information: Donna Heron 215-814-5113, heron.donna@epa.gov

PHILADELPHIA ( September 18, 2014) -- EPA is soliciting public comment on its proposal to enter into an agreement with Sparrows Point Terminal LLC (SPT) that will support SPT’s planned purchase and redevelopment of the Sparrows Point facility in Baltimore, Md., and ensure environmental cleanup at the property.

The proposed Prospective Purchaser Agreement (PPA) requires SPT to perform specified cleanup activities at the Sparrows Point facility; contribute $3 million toward the offshore environmental investigation, and pay EPA’s oversight costs with an initial payment of $100,000 and up to an additional $50,000 per year.

In return, the PPA will resolve potential claims the United States government would have under environmental laws governing the cleanup of hazardous waste and contamination at properties

SPT plans to redevelop the Sparrows Point facility into a transportation, manufacturing, and logistics industrial campus

EPA is accepting comments until October 18, 2014.

The Sparrows Point facility is located on the 3100-acre Sparrows Point peninsula bounded by Back River, Bear Creek, and the Patapsco River. More than 100 years of industrial activity, primarily steelmaking, has resulted in the contamination of the site and some offshore areas.

In 1997, the then-owner of Sparrows Point facility, Bethlehem Steel Corporation, entered into a judicial consent decree with the United States and the Maryland Department of the Environment. The consent decree requires site investigation and cleanup studies, certain interim cleanup measures at the most contaminated part of the facility (Coke Point Peninsula), and compliance with air pollution limits.

In 2003, Sparrows Point was sold as part of a bankruptcy reorganization. Subsequent changes in ownership and operations at Sparrows Point slowed the pace of the work under the consent decree.

The current owner of the Sparrows Point Facility is Sparrows Point LLC, which is entering into a purchase agreement with new owner, Sparrows Point Terminal LLC (SPT). EPA anticipates that the sale of the Sparrows Point facility to SPT will take place on September 18, 2014

Comments should be submitted by mail or email by October 18, 2014 to Luis Pizarro at U.S. EPA (3LC20)), 1650 Arch Street., Philadelphia, PA 19103 or pizarro.luis@epa.gov.

For a copy of the PPA, go to http://www.epa.gov/reg3wcmd/public_notices.htm.

For more information on Sparrows Point, go to: http://www.epa.gov/reg3wcmd/ca/md/webpages/mdd053945432.html.