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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Sparrows Point Terminal LLC (TradePoint Atlantic) in Sparrows Point, Maryland

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EPA has reached agreement on a proposed Prospective Purchaser Agreement (PPA) with Sparrows Point Terminal, LLC (SPT) regarding its purchase of the Facility. SPT proposes to redevelop the Facility property under a long-term ground leasing program with commercial logistics, transportation, and manufacturing tenants. The PPA requires SPT to perform on-shore work; pay $3.0 million for off-shore investigation and pay EPA’s oversight costs. In exchange, the PPA provides SPT with a covenant not to sue under Sections 106 and 107(a) of CERCLA (also known as the Superfund Law), 42 U.S.C. §§ 9606 and 9607(a), and Sections 3005, 3008(a), and 7003 of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 6925, 6928(a), and 6973 for "Existing Contamination" as defined in the PPA.  As of April 2021, EPA, and Maryland Department of Environmental Protection (MDE) have completed reviews for the investigation of over 2,800 of the 3,100- acre site, facilitating the reuse and redevelopment of over 700 acres of the property thus far.  

Cleanup Status

Phase II Work Plans

EPA and MDE (Agencies) have received Phase II Work Plans with proposed soil, groundwater and soil gas sampling points based on the location of potential releases from historical processes conducted at that parcel and sufficient additional sampling locations to provide coverage of the entire parcel.  EPA and MDE have approved Phase II workplans for Area A-1 Remnant Area and Area B-13 Supplemental Investigation Area. In addition to the Phase II Work Plans, the Agencies review and approve targeted soil and groundwater sampling plans if results from the initial investigations warrant further work. These plans are submitted as necessary and vary in scope and focus (e.g., delineation of non-aqueous phase liquids (NAPLs) or elevated metals).

Phase II Investigation Reports

Upon approval of the Phase II Work Plan, field work can begin at the Parcel. Once the field work is completed and the data is validated, an Investigation Report summarizing the sample results is submitted for the Agencies for review. The following new Phase II Reports have been submitted to the Agencies for review:

  • A-14
  • A-17
  • A-18
  • B-7 (County Transfer Property)
  • B-7/B25
  • B-9 (Former Penwood Power Plant)
  • B-11
  • B-24

Final Remedy Selection

Once field work is complete, EPA issues a Statement of Basis in which it described information gathered during environmental investigations and proposes a remedy. A final remedy is selected after the public has had the opportunity to make comments during the public comment period. EPA has a remedy for the following parcels:

  • A1
  • A2
  • A3
  • B3
  • B4-1
  • B4 Remnant Area
  • B15
  • B16 (Tin Mill Canal)

Response and Development Work Plans

This process ensures that redevelopment occurs in a way that protects human health and the environment. The Agencies have approved or are currently reviewing these work plans :

  • A8-2 Addendum 
  • A10-1 Addendum
  • A11-2
  • B4-2
  • B6-4
  • B22-2 

Other Updates

Tin Mill Canal

Remedy Implementation of the Tin Mill Canal (TMC) was completed in February 2021. The TMC is a constructed swale that currently serves as a conveyance for stormwater runoff and groundwater base flow from an approximately 800-acre local drainage area on the Sparrows Point site and stormwater runoff from an approximately 320-acre off-site residential area.  The cleanup effort generally included removal and dewatering of sediment, cleaning of outfalls, disposal of non-hazardous sediments at Grey’s Landfill, and placement of a cap.

Corrective Measure Study – Rod & Wire Mill, Coke Oven and Site-Wide Groundwater

On February 1, 2021, the Agencies approved three Corrective Measures Studies (CMS) work plans: one for the Coke Point Area groundwater, one for the Rod and Wire Mill groundwater, and one for remaining site-wide groundwater outside the Coke Point and Rod and Wire Mill areas.

EPA anticipates issuing a Statement of Basis detailing a proposed remedy for the site-wide groundwater outside of the Coke Point and Rod and Wire Mill areas by September 30, 2021. EPA also anticipates that the CMS Report will be submitted for the Coke Point by September 30, 2021. For Rod and Wire Mill, the EPA expects the CMS Report by September 30, 2022. Proposed remedies for those areas will follow soon after the CMS Reports. The Interim Measures for Rod and Wire Mill and the Coke Oven Areas will continue to operate during the Corrective Measures Study that is being conducted to evaluate remedial alternatives and develop a recommended final remedy for groundwater.


The EPA Region 3 Superfund program and Maryland Department of the Environment are continuing to evaluate the best approach for taking necessary action (s) to protect human health and the environment in the Offshore area.

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Site Description

Interactive Map of Sparrows Point Site, Sparrows Point, Maryland

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The Sparrows Point facility is located on approximately 3100 acres of a peninsula on the north side of the Patapsco River approximately nine (9) miles southeast of downtown Baltimore. BSC purchased the facility in 1916 And during peak production in 1959, the facility operated 12 coke-oven batteries, 10 blast furnaces, and four open-hearth furnaces. The coke ovens ceased operations in December 1991 and the coke batteries have been or are being torn down. Waste management at the property includes air pollution controls two solid waste landfills, and waste water treatment.

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Contaminants at this Facility

A broad range of contaminants were detected at the site associated with the steel making process. Contaminants include: antimony, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, iron, lead, manganese, nickel, tin, zinc, ammonia, benzene, cyanide, ethyl benzene, naphthalene, PAHs, toluene, xylene, coal tar, oils, lime sludge, sulfuric acid, waste alkaline rinses, mill scale, and ship yard wastes.

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Institutional and Engineering Controls at this Facility

The need for Institutional Controls is yet to be determined.

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Land Reuse Information at this Facility

The facility is being redeveloped.

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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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