WAMU 88.5 : Metro Connection

Filed Under:

From Brownfield To Superfund Site: Baltimore's Sauer Dump

Play associated audio
Residents are pushing officials to clean up the toxic Sauer dump in Baltimore's Dundalk neighborhood.
Sabri Ben-Achour
Residents are pushing officials to clean up the toxic Sauer dump in Baltimore's Dundalk neighborhood.

The Sauer Dump in Dundalk was listed as a Superfund site last week, after 30 years of testing and analysis by Baltimore County, the State of Maryland, and the Environmental Protection Agency. From the 1950s through the early 80s, it was used as a dump for all manner of waste--concrete, drums of chemicals, and electrical transformers with hazardous chemicals.

The 2.5-acre site is now contaminated with lead and poly-chlorinated biphenols, a probable carcinogen. PCBs are considered a risk at 0.22 parts per million. At one point, samples from the dump tested at 33,000 parts per million. The EPA takes action when lead reaches 400 ppm in soil. The levels at the Sauer dump at one point reached 26,000 parts per million.

It will cost several millions of dollars to clean up, but the Maryland Department of the Environment says it will only take around five years or so. That's a short time frame compared to other Superfund sites, which can take decades to restore.

Jim Carroll, program manager for the land restoration program at Maryland's Department of the Environment, says this will be comparatively short because there isn't extensive groundwater contamination, but rather it's soil, which can be dug out.

There are three potentially responsible parties: Baltimore Gas & Electric, American Premium Underwriters, and Jefferson Stone Smurfit (now bankrupt). However, they have not been identified as responsible for the cleanup costs. As of now, the EPA will likely pick up the tab.


[Music: "Radioactive" by Kings of Leon from Come Around Sundown]

WAMU 88.5

Taking Great Photos On Vacation Or "Staycation"

Professional photographers give us the latest on cameras, smart phones and shooting tips for great vacation photos this summer -- and every day.

NPR

For Greece's Farmers, Growing Pressure To Be More Competitive

Greece grows plenty of good agricultural products, but has trouble competing internationally. Many in Greece say it's time for the farm sector to modernize.
WAMU 88.5

Obama's Trip to Africa & Foreign Aid

By visiting Africa this month, President Obama is drawing attention to one of the diplomatic tools that most directly shapes America's relationships with other countries: foreign aid and assistance. But now all policy makers at home feel the United States is pursuing the soundest strategy when it comes to providing aid abroad. We explore the issue with the official in charge of the Africa portfolio for the United States Agency for International Development.

WAMU 88.5

Taking Great Photos On Vacation Or "Staycation"

Professional photographers give us the latest on cameras, smart phones and shooting tips for great vacation photos this summer -- and every day.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.