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

Racially-Charged Casting Call: 'Surprising' But Not Shocking To Insiders

A casting call asked for attractive light-skinned women of any race but black women who looked "poor" and "not in good shape." A panel of industry insiders weighs in.
NPR

With Help From America's Test Kitchen, Why Buy When You Can DIY?

Morning Edition host Renee Montagne talks to America's Test Kitchen's Chris Kimball about foods that are easier than you'd guess to make at home. Fresh Nutella or kale chips, anyone?
NPR

Montana Sen. Walsh Says PTSD May Have Played A Role In His Plagiarism

Sen. John Walsh lifted at least a quarter of his United States Army War College master's thesis, according to a report in The New York Times. Walsh was appointed to the Senate in February.
NPR

U.S. Database Glitch Delays Passport, Visa Processing

The problem in the U.S. State Department system could cause problems for millions of people worldwide who are awaiting travel documents.

Leave a Comment

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