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Grant used for cleanup study

September 27, 2002|by SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

The city of Hagerstown has awarded a $67,686 contract to a consultant to help plan redevelopment of the Central Chemical site in Hagerstown's West End, Senior Planner Kathleen Maher said Thursday.

The Hagerstown City Council on Tuesday awarded the contract to E2 of Charlottesville, Va.

Funding for the contract comes from a $100,000 grant the city received from the Environmental Protection Agency. The rest of the money went to reimburse the city for costs associated with the project, she said.

The intent of the project is to let the EPA know what the community thinks should be done with the property, Maher said. The EPA will then use that information as a guide as it develops plans to clean up the site, she said.

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What is built at the site depends to some extent on the nature of the contamination, she said.

The consulting firm will help organize a public outreach effort, facilitate a project Land Use Committee and public meetings and provide technical review of ideas developed locally, Maher said.

The city hopes the work with the consultant and the public outreach work will begin in October, she said.

The first step in the project is finding people who would like to be on the committee or on one of three subcommittees, she said. Interested parties may call Maher at 301-739-8577, ext. 140, or send e-mail to planning@hagerstownmd.org.

During its meetings the committees will review technical reports, brainstorm reuse ideas, and select a preferred reuse plan, she said.

The 19-acre Central Chemical property off Mitchell Avenue is on the EPA's Superfund list of the country's most hazardous waste sites.

The Central Chemical property was put on the Superfund list in 1997. It is one of 18 Superfund sites in Maryland, according to the EPA, Maher said.

According to the EPA, from the 1930s through the mid-1980s, Central Chemical blended agricultural pesticides and fertilizers, creating waste and byproducts that were allegedly disposed of in an old stone quarry on the property and in a sinkhole.

Contaminants on the site include arsenic, lead, benzene, aldrin, chlordane, DDD, DDE, DDT, dieldrin and methoxychlor.

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