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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Cytec Aerospace Materials Incorporated in Havre de Grace, Maryland

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In 1991, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Corrective Action Permit to Cytec to address any contamination present at the facility. Between 1991 and 2002 Cytec conducted several investigations to delineate groundwater and soil contamination.

Cleanup Status

Onsite soil and onsite and offsite groundwater were found to be contaminated with volatile organic contaminants (VOCs). To address the most immediate concerns and to prevent further spread of the groundwater contaminant plume, Cytec implemented an interim clean-up measure to contain and treat contaminated groundwater at the facility. The groundwater extraction system was started on April 29, 2002 and continues to operate. Highlights of the extraction system are described below.

  • Groundwater is extracted from monitoring well 10D (MW-10D). This well is located near the eastern perimeter of the facility. Based on investigations at the site, this well appears to be located in a preferential pathway for groundwater flow.
  • Two one-inch pipes (one active and one backup) transport extracted groundwater to the Havre de Grace Wastewater Treatment Plan. Both pipes are contained in a two-inch pipe to provide secondary containment. The water is initially pumped to a pretreatment tank containing food wastes from a local processor. The active biological systems in the pretreatment tank help to breakdown contaminants in the water prior to flowing to the rest of the treatment plant.
  • The extraction system is equipped with safety features and the instrumentation is remotely accessible for monitoring system operation and for reporting purposes. In the event of a problem, there is an automated system shutoff and voice notification to ensure prompt attention.
  • The system is designed to pump groundwater at a rate of 7.5 gallons per minute, with an approximate sphere of influence of 800 to 1000 feet. Pumping of MW-10D results in hydraulic control of local groundwater in the area of MW-10D and prevents some contamination from flowing off-site. In the original source area, the concentrations of VOCs in groundwater have decreased considerably.
  • Cytec has coordinated with Havre de Grace City Officials to obtain all the necessary permits and to ensure compliance with federal, state, and local regulations.

Cytec regularly samples groundwater wells installed on and offsite to assess the effectiveness of the extraction system. The results of the monitoring program are reported to EPA and MDE for review annually.

A Public Notice was published on September 19, 2012 announcing the proposed decision (Statement of Basis) for environmental remediation at Cytec Industries Inc., Harve De Grace (Cytec), (MDD003075942) has been made. The proposed remedy consists of operation, maintenance and monitoring of the groundwater extraction system and groundwater monitoring system, and institutional controls to restrict activities at the facility. EPA is also issuing a draft permit for implementing the remedy and for ongoing maintenance and monitoring.

The Permit and Final Decision and Response to Comments became effective December 5, 2012.

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Site Description

Interactive Map of Cytec Aerospace Materials Incorporated, Havre de Grace, Maryland


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Located in Havre de Grace, Maryland, Cytec Engineered Materials currently produces specialty bonding adhesives and composite materials for a variety of industrial applications. The facility is located within 0.75 miles of the Chesapeake Bay and the area surrounding the facility can be characterized as light industrial and residential.

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Contaminants at this Facility

The contaminants in the groundwater, identified by past investigations, are organic solvents, most likely the result of a former leaking underground product storage tanks. 1,2-Dichloroethane (1,2-DCA) is the primary contaminant of concern.

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Institutional and Engineering Controls at this Facility

    An  environmental covenant was signed by Cytec, EPA and MDE on April 9, 2014. The Covenant included Institutional Controls containing the following land and groundwater use restrictions:

    • Groundwater at the Facility shall not be used for any purpose other than industrial usage and to conduct the operation, maintenance, and monitoring activities required by EPA unless it is demonstrated to EPA that, (1) such use will not pose a threat to human health or the environment or adversely affect or interfere with the selected final remedy and (2) EPA provides prior written approval for such use;
    • No new wells shall be installed on Facility property unless EPA provides prior written approval to install such wells;
    • The Facility property shall not be used for residential purposes unless it is demonstrated to EPA that such use will not pose a threat to human health or the environment or adversely affect or interfere with the selected remedy, and EPA provides prior written approval for such use.

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    Land Reuse Information at this Facility

    The facility is under continued use.

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    Site Responsibility at this Facility

    RCRA Corrective Action activities at this facility are being conducted under the direction of the EPA Region 3 with assistance from Maryland Department of Environmental Protection.

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