From Brownfield To Superfund Site: Baltimore's Sauer Dump | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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]

NPR

Kids' Films And Stories Share A Dark Theme: Dead Mothers

Why do so many animated movies star motherless kids? Sarah Boxer, a graphic novelist, cartoon-lover and mother, talks to NPR's Kelly McEvers about the phenomenon and the message it sends to children.
NPR

Saskawhat? A Novel Berry From Canada Takes Root On Michigan Farms

Some rookie farmers in northern Michigan are growing saskatoon, an imported shrub from Canada that looks like blueberry. They're also experimenting with it in the kitchen — in jams and pies.
WAMU 88.5

Maryland's Andy Harris Defends Move To Block D.C. Marijuana Bill

The Maryland Republican Congressman who moved to block a bill that would decriminalize marijuana in D.C. defended his actions and criticized the move to boycott businesses in his district, which includes popular tourist destination Ocean City.

NPR

Looking For Free Sperm, Women May Turn To Online Forums

Bypassing commercial sperm banks, thousands are logging on to websites where women can connect with men at no cost. Anecdotes abound, but the scope of the unregulated activity is unclear.

Leave a Comment

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