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November 01, 2022

EPA, MDE Lead Tour of Hagerstown Superfund Site

Credit: EPA

PHILADELPHIA (Nov. 1, 2022) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), joined by U.S. Congressman David Trone, led stakeholders, contractors, responsible parties and others on a tour today of ongoing cleanup work at the Central Chemical Superfund Site, located along Mitchell Avenue in Hagerstown, Maryland.

Central Chemical is contaminated with remnants from agricultural pesticides and fertilizers that were blended at a plant located at the site from the 1930s until 1965.  All operations at the plant stopped in 1984, and the buildings were eventually demolished, but contaminants remained in the groundwater. EPA added it to the Superfund National Priorities List in September 1997.

“Central Chemical is a great example of the private sector stepping up and taking responsibility for cleaning up a contaminated site,” said EPA Regional Administrator Adam Ortiz.  “MDE has been an outstanding partner with EPA, overseeing the cleanup so that this site can eventually be reused and redeveloped for the benefit of the Hagerstown community and local economy.”

“After years of work to correct decades of damage, a new future for the Hagerstown superfund site is within reach. But now is not the time to let up and I applaud the EPA for continuing to work with all parties to ensure the clean-up is successfully completed,” said Senator Chris Van Hollen. 

“It was great to tour the Central Chemical Superfund Site in Hagerstown to review their environmental cleanup efforts,” said Congressman David Trone. “In Congress, I’m proud to be an advocate for bold action on climate, including the cleanup of sites like this one. When we work together at all levels of the government, we can solve some of the biggest problems impacting our community.”

The tour included observation of the groundwater treatment plant, which is capturing contaminated groundwater around the former lagoon to reduce contamination before discharging treated water to the City’s storm sewer system. There was also a demonstration of how waste in the former lagoon is being treated using a process called in-situ Solidification/Stabilization (ISS).  ISS entails turning the lagoon waste into a solid block. Afterwards, the lagoon area will be covered with a cap to prevent water from contacting the treated waste. The ISS work is expected to be completed by the end of December 2022.

The EPA website provides more details on the history and ongoing work at the Central Chemical (Hagerstown) Superfund Site.