EPA reaches $14.3 million settlement over Central Chemical site in Hagerstown

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the state of Maryland have reached a $14.3 million settlement with a group of 16 companies. The companies have agreed to spend the money stabilizing and cleaning the cap waste and contaminated soil at the Central Chemical Superfund site in Hagerstown.

In addition to the clean-up settlement, the companies have also agreed to reimburse the state with $945,000 for past clean-up costs, and will also reimburse any future costs associated with the clean-up.

Before becoming official, the consent decree has to go through a 30-day public-comment period and court approval.

The 19-acre site in question was once home to the Central Chemical Corp., which blended agricultural pesticides with fertilizers from the 1930s to the 1980s. Blending these substances leaked contaminants into the soil, groundwater, surface water and sediment on the site, as well as in the tissue of fish caught downstream. The contaminants in question include arsenic, lead, benzene, aldrin, chlordane, DDD, DDE, DDT, dieldrin, and methoxychlor.

EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin says that "the settlement will fund a protective long-term solution to safely contain contaminated soils and waste on site," adding that "this remedy will protect the groundwater from further contamination by the wastes in the soil."

An initial cleanup plan was drafted in 2009, although the organization is unsure as to when clean-up efforts will actually begin.

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