EPA to Host Turner Station Community Meeting to Share Information on Efforts to Improve Sparrows Point and Bear Creek
February 6 Meeting in Dundalk will highlight Bear Creek cleanup plan and EPA community efforts.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Mid-Atlantic Region is hosting a public meeting to discuss the proposed cleanup plan for the Bear Creek Superfund Site and important efforts EPA is making to address environmental justice concerns in the Turner Station community.
“Turner Station is an important community, and one that has faced many challenges due to historical pollution,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Adam Ortiz. “We are working hand-in-hand with the community leaders to tackle these challenges head on. Examples include cleaning up the former Bethlehem Steel site at Bear Creek, providing technical assistance to the community throughout the cleanup process, funding an air monitoring program in Turner Station, and investing a total of more than $537M in Baltimore County water infrastructure to date. Through our partnership with the community, we are committed to drive meaningful change and continue the advancement of environmental justice”.
Ortiz said that EPA is focused on investing in communities that have historically experienced environmental stressors. He has prioritized implementing a coordinated approach between EPA and its partners to connect community groups with the tools and resources that lead to tangible improvements and change.
“Turner Station Conservation Teams Inc. (TSCT) has fought for 20 years to honor our past, engage residents, grow resources and advocate on behalf of the best interests of the largest historic African American community in Baltimore County,” said Turner Station Conservation Teams President Gloria E. Nelson. “The nearby Bear Creek Superfund site is the toxic legacy of 100 years of steelmaking and shipbuilding at Bethlehem Steel that is thankfully being addressed by the EPA. We look forward to the upcoming public meeting for our residents to have a voice in determining the clean-up plan for this site. It will be a giant step toward obtaining environmental justice and equity for our residents now and in the years to come. We greatly appreciate the relationship that we have developed.”
The in-person public meeting will take place at the Sollers Point Multi-Purpose Center at 323 Sollers Point Road, Dundalk, MD 21222 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM on Tuesday, February 6th at which time the EPA will explain the benefits and entertain questions from the community on the proposed cleanup strategy that will remove legacy pollution of hazardous materials from the Bear Creek Superfund site. A public comment period for the Bear Creek cleanup plan is currently open until March 10, 2024. To find more information about the public comment period and to read the cleanup plan, please visit: www.epa.gov/superfund/Bearcreek.
Bear Creek is a tidal surface water body adjacent to the 3,100-acre Sparrows Point peninsula, which was the site of steelmaking and ship building industries. The Bethlehem Steel Corporation (BSC) was the primary owner and operator for much of the Sparrows Point operational history, and sediments in Bear Creek were contaminated primarily by the migration of hazardous substances from the steel making process and the wastewater discharges from process wastewater and stormwater that discharged to Bear Creek.
EPA’s proposed cleanup plan will include removing contaminated soil from the near-shore areas and disposing of it at an approved off-site facility. Contaminated soil farther from shore will be capped to contain the contamination and prevent it from polluting the water.
Visit the EPA website to learn more about the agency’s environmental justice efforts.