The MOVING FORWARD development plans to bring CHINESE-SIZE INDUSTRIAL formats making our US steel mill pollution look like RING-AROUND-THE-COLLAR.
One community wants to request FEDERAL FUNDING to build a SEA WALL-----to save a community right in the midst of what will be that massive TOXICITY. We are all about SAVING COMMUNITIES----but, toxicity is not a foundation from which to build.
Turner Station at a Crossroads
Duration: 02:27 1/30/2019
Turner Station, which dates to the late 1800s, became a thriving, middle-class black community in the mid-20th Century. The neighborhood has struggled with decline in recent years, but some former and current residents are working for a revival'.
This was the attitude back then from Johns Hopkins as it will be today by global hedge fund Johns Hopkins Corporation driving much of these development goals
'Needless to say, Wolman and his colleagues were reflecting the prevailing attitude of the day: namely, that a large employer’s financial well-being should trump environmental concerns'.
Environmentby Brew Editors9:45 amMay 31, 2009
Polluting Turners Station and Dundalk: A Maryland Tradition
By MARK REUTTER
Patapsco Neck has long been the greasy elbow of greater Baltimore, a dumping ground for hazardous wastes and cancer-causing metals produced by the steel mill at the boot of the peninsula, then spread by wind and water to surrounding communities.
A recent report by the Baltimore Sun’s Tim Wheeler — that the Sparrows Point mill has allegedly failed to live up to a 1997 agreement to clean up contaminated soil and ground water around its 2,500-acre facility — is part of a long history of regulatory neglect by state officials.
It was neglect that flourished at a time when everyone, from Johns Hopkins University experts to Dundalk homeowners, was predisposed to downplay dirty discharges from the area’s largest employer.
Sparrows Point got a green light to pollute as early as 1940, when Bethlehem Steel hired Abel Wolman as its water consultant. Wolman was head of sanitary engineering at Hopkins and had served in various city and state posts, including as chief engineer of the Maryland Health Department. The downtown Municipal Building is named after him.
Over the next 20 years, Wolman and other Hopkins staff guided the Maryland Health Department and other regulators, as they permitted the steel mill to spew hazardous wastes into the air and water at levels unprecedented even for that era. Environmental groups today are decrying essentially the same kinds of air and water discharges from the mill.
Profits and pollution
When I was researching my book on Sparrows Point, Wolman told me that there were several ways to capture mill pollutants, some of which would even return a small profit to the company. But he never pressed the idea, knowing such suggestions might appear indiscrete, if not rude, to his Beth Steel clients. They told him his pollution control idea didn’t promise enough investment return to be worthwhile, he recalled, and he went on to say that he agreed with their priorities.
“I have to remind people that industry is not a philanthropic institution,” he said. “Some people mix them up.”
Abel Wolman, 1960. (c) University of Illinois Press
With his prestigious resume and long history of service in government, Wolman was well suited to become the plant’s chief enabler. He had no trouble persuading Robert H. Riley, director of the Maryland Health Department, to issue a permit in 1947 that allowed for the release of 450 million gallons of untreated wastewater daily. The wastewater contained sulfuric acid (pickling liquor), iron, oil, lead, cyanide, phenol, benzene, chrome and other pollutants.
“Blood water” and oily blooms
The locals dubbed these discharges “blood water” because of the slaughterhouse-red color from the iron precipitates.
Soon, the waters around the Point became so corrosive that they peeled the paint off the hulls of boats and emitted a rotten-egg smell that wafted over the communities of Turners Station, Dundalk and Edgemere. Sometimes, the polluted outflows coagulated like oil slicks and formed long, viscous blooms that floated down the Patapsco River into the Chesapeake Bay.
In 1955, the Maryland Water Pollution Control Commission’s district engineer estimated that the plant discharged 590 tons of pickling liquor daily. The pollution led to massive fish kills and to a curious, almost antic, plan by Wolman’s Hopkins colleagues to pump the wastewater through a hidden pipeline under the harbor, then release the contents into deeper water to disguise its telltale color.
The plan was never carried out, largely for reasons of cost. The Hopkins team, however, continued to argue that the Chesapeake Bay’s “assimilative powers” were so great that it could withstand 640 million gallons of wastewater – a 42 percent increase over the 1947 permit level – rushing out of the mill every day.
Falling soot? ‘It’s raining dollars!’
Needless to say, Wolman and his colleagues were reflecting the prevailing attitude of the day: namely, that a large employer’s financial well-being should trump environmental concerns. “I have a responsibility for proper economic development in the state,” said Paul W. McKee, Water Pollution Control Commission chairman. “I can’t simply keep everything the way it is, say we have to preserve everything as John Smith saw it.”
Many residents had the same forgiving attitude towards the blackish-green soot or rusty-red dust (depending on what stacks were blowing) that blanketed their cars and homes, viewing it as a sign of prosperity. “You accepted it,” said Elizabeth McShane, wife of a superintendent. “If someone said something about the dirt, you just said, ‘Yup, it’s raining dollars.’”
Sparrows Point today. Photo by Mark Reutter.
Today, the Sparrows Point area is the No. 1 disease cluster in Maryland, according to Sparrows Point Action, a citizens group that is preparing a class-action lawsuit against the steel complex. Local residents have elevated rates of asthma, leukemia, cancer, birth defects, miscarriages and developmental disorders, according to the organization.
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation and Baltimore Harbor Waterkeeper say the Point is still pumping high levels of chromium, zinc and other pollutants into Bear Creek and the Patapsco River, in violation of its wastewater discharge permit.
One might think that regulators would know by now that degradation of the Bay has as much impact on the state economy as the well-being of any one company. Yet a spokesperson for the Maryland Department of the Environment told Wheeler in Friday’s Sun article (5/29/09) that the state was satisfied with the progress made by Severstal North America, the mill’s owner, under the 1997 agreement.
While noting that the agency is still seeking specific deadlines for action from Severstal, the spokesperson added, “There are no immediate public health threats.”
Thus continues a Maryland tradition.
Port of Baltimore welcomes mammoth-sized container ship — its biggest visitor ever - Baltimore Business Journal'
SEAGIRT MARINE TERMINAL is waterfront where TURNER'S STATION community is located. We see here---expansion moving towards this small community ---we see trucking with exhausts waiting for interstate and tunnel expansions all around this peninsula.
The history of TURNER STATION was one of ENVIRONMENTAL INJUSTICE for people of color and poor. The future MOVING FORWARD will make that injustice look like child's play.
We want first to recognize any community built on the experience of environmental injustice may not want solution that involves SAVING that community......relocation is best in this case. Our concerns are as well the LEVEL OF TOXICITY Baltimore City 5% freemason/Greek pols and players KNOW will come with current development plans.
Colin Campbell | The Baltimore Sun
May 31, 2017 2:00 PM, EDT
Expansion of Port of Baltimore's Seagirt Marine Terminal Moves Forward
Andrew Harrer/Flickr For the first time in 30 years, the Maryland Port Administration has acquired land to accommodate growing business.
The port administration announced May 30 that it has completed the purchase of Point Breeze Business Center near Seagirt Marine Terminal in southeast Baltimore in a $55 million deal that will expand Seagirt's footprint to 356 acres.
The acquisition is symbolic of a reversal of fortunes for the Port of Baltimore, which in recent decades has struggled to remain competitive with larger East Coast ports in New York and Norfolk, Va.
The port now needs extra land to help handle the growing volume of containerized cargo it's been seeing since the expansion of the Panama Canal. The widened canal gave the supersize containerships carrying Asian-manufactured goods a more direct route to U.S. East Coast ports beginning last summer.
Capitalizing on its deep channels and timely investment in four massive container cranes, Baltimore was able to offer shipping lines an alternative to the congestion, draft and clearance issues in other ports. New York harbor is hampered by shallower, rocky channels, while Charleston, S.C., is limited by the height of a bridge and its distance from East Coast markets.
After the expanded canal opened last year, Baltimore's container traffic grew by 9% in the second half of 2016, hitting a record 538,567 containers last year. In the first quarter of 2017, the port's container volume grew 8%.
"We were concerned that with the success that we had in 2016 — we were the fourth-fastest-growing port in North America — if we were continuing to grow at that pace, we would have needed to grow container [space] by 2023," said James White, executive director of the Maryland Port Administration.
With the new land, he said, the port should have adequate container capacity through 2030.
"Since welcoming our first big containership through the newly expanded Panama Canal last year, the Port of Baltimore has seen a significant jump in its container business," Gov. Larry Hogan said in a statement.
"With the purchase of additional land, the port will have more ability to handle the increased economic activity while generating new job opportunities for Maryland citizens."
The port's expansion is expected to generate about 1,650 new jobs, which state and local officials and Baltimore dockworkers eagerly anticipate.
"It means more jobs and more opportunity for us — that's huge," said Scott Cowan, president of the International Longshoreman's Association Local 333. "Volumes have increased, and it's definitely moving in the right direction, for sure."
"Obviously, they're happy," he added. "More man-hours, more work opportunities and more space for the port. Everybody wins."
City Councilman Zeke Cohen, whose 1st District in southeast Baltimore borders Seagirt, said the expansion represents "real opportunities for some real economic revitalization."
"Traditionally, the port has been a place for not just family-sustaining jobs but family-sustaining careers," Cohen said. "To see that resurgence has been powerful."
White noted the port's top commodities — including cars and roll-on/roll-off equipment — are labor-intensive, and containers fit into that same category.
"We don't go after big tonnages that don't produce jobs or economic impact," he said. "We have so much acreage; how do we provide the best opportunity?"
PORT OF BALTIMORE GOALS-----TO BE FULLY AUTOMATED AND ROBOTIC ASAP.
The Port of Baltimore remains much smaller than its rivals, handling about a third of the 1.5 million containers Norfolk handled last year. The Port of New York and New Jersey handled about 3.5 million containers.
The Maryland Port Administration acquired the 103-acre Point Breeze Business Park for $92.5 million. Rukert Terminals Corp., a nearby private marine terminal operator, has agreed to buy 33 acres from the state for about $35 million, White said.
The state Board of Public Works approved the deal in February. The property's owner, Point Breeze, wanted to sell to one buyer.
The site houses low-lying warehouse and industrial buildings, some of which are occupied by tenants. As their leases expire or are renegotiated, the state will demolish the buildings and pave the land to create a 70-acre storage lot. It's unclear how long that will take, White said.
Maryland's previous land purchase for port expansion was in 1987, when the state bought land at the Fairfield Marine Terminal to handle vehicle imports. The port is now the nation's top port for automobile imports.
The port administration had expressed interested in buying the Point Breeze property more than a decade ago, but the sale never materialized, White said. State officials also considered other options to grow the port's container capacity, such as building a new marine terminal at Sparrows Point, but Point Breeze, on Broening Highway adjacent to Seagirt, was less expensive and more convenient.
The state struck a $1.3 billion, 50-year deal with Ports America Chesapeake in 2010 to allow the private company to operate Seagirt in exchange for a 50-foot-deep berth and four "post-Panamax" cranes capable of unloading the giant new containerships.
"The cranes are already there, the dredging is already done, the rail yard is there for when we get the double-stack," White said. "It was a contiguous property to what we already own. It was the least expensive way to grow out our container business."
While offering easy access to the Interstate 95 corridor, the terminal remains hampered by its rail connections. For shipments heading to the Midwest, the ancient Howard Street Tunnel isn't tall enough to allow containers to be stacked two high on freight trains, the most efficient means for rail transport. The state reapplied in December after being rejected last year for $155 million federal funding to raise the height of the tunnel.
With the recent uptick in traffic and ships arriving in bunches, the port — which has been ranked for three consecutive years as the most productive in the United States — has struggled recently to meet its one-hour goal for loading and unloading containers on trucks, White said. The expansion is expected to offer some relief in that regard, he said.
"This land will now give us additional opportunities to also maintain that type of productivity," he said.
'The sea wall is where the ships tie, and Burleson said up to 2,000 feet of the wall could need upgrades. It still must be determined whether the sea wall can be repaired or rebuilt'.
Residents of TURNER STATION want to request FEDERAL funding for SEA WALL to protect that community. A sea wall indicates two things---first, climate change sea level rise----and second the structures needed for MOORING----DOCKING of huge cargo vessels.
FEDERAL FUNDING to save community would actually be CIVIL RIGHTS if it was used to relocate these community citizens. As is, these sea wall funding will only go to SUBSIDIZE corporate infrastructure.
Port authority seeks upgrade of Detroit sea wall
Shawn D. Lewis, The Detroit News Published 5:56 p.m. ET March 1, 2019
Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority Executive Director Kyle Burleson discusses the potential of the port as part of an initiative unveiled Friday. (Photo: Shawn D. Lewis, The Detroit News)
Detroit — Major upgrades are needed for an aging port authority cargo terminal to attract more business to the area, its governing authority said Friday.
Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority Executive Director Kyle Burleson said there's an urgent need to apply for grant funding to rehabilitate a 50-year-old terminal south of the Ambassador Bridge at the foot of Clark Street.
“The urgency is not because something is going to collapse tomorrow,” said Burleson, who presented the authority’s strategic plan to stakeholders and government officials Friday. “The urgency is to take advantage of the opportunities to get federal dollars.”
The port authority, he said, owns the cargo terminal on West Jefferson that's one of between 25 and 30 terminals along the Detroit River and River Rouge. The cargo handling facility, he said, is the only one that's publicly owned.
“The sea wall, as one unit, is very old and serving well past its designed lifespan," he said.
The sea wall is where the ships tie, and Burleson said up to 2,000 feet of the wall could need upgrades. It still must be determined whether the sea wall can be repaired or rebuilt.
The concern about the location comes as officials with the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority on Friday unveiled an effort to upgrade maritime infrastructure while encouraging public and private stakeholders, as well as elected officials, to become more aware of the port's potential.
“A lot suffer from aging infrastructure. They’re getting weaker, and there is a threat of collapsing,” Burleson said.
Burleson noted the sea walls in Detroit were built in the 1920s.
"The Port Authority took over the cargo docks in 2005, and we haven’t done a very good job of maintaining it," he said. "... But in order to increase cargo growth, we need to make an investment to be able to handle increased cargo loads.”
He said a sea wall collapsed in 2014, showcasing the potential problems further wall failure would cause.
“There was a facility along the Rouge River where a pile of material was too close to the water’s edge, and without a sea wall, material and land washed into the river. That slowed down commerce on the Rouge River for three or four weeks. It is a privately owned facility.”
Asked how much money it would take to address the urgent need, Burleson said he could only speak to the cargo facility at 4105 W. Jefferson.
“We’re still putting together all the numbers, but on the low end, it would be between $3 million and $4 million,” he said. “On the high end, it could be between $10 million and $15 million, depending on the scope of the project.”
Port officials will apply for federal funding for the infrastructure work.
The port authority is prioritizing infrastructure and government relations. It also is developing several subcommittees involving these efforts. It plans to establish subcommittees by mid-March.
“We want to develop better relationships with elected leaders and the business community, and we’re here to roll out the new strategy to get this accomplished,” Burleson said. “Our focus is on the waterfront, but in the 21st century, all transportation is connected.”
Luke Bonner, of Bonner Advisory Group, is working with the port authority to help with its strategic direction. He asked for a show of hands from those who know about it on Friday at the gathering.
A few of the about 30 people raised their hands.
“A handful of you,” he said. “We have a lot of opportunity here to do more.”
Roy Freij, deputy treasurer for Wayne County, said he is among those with limited interaction with the authority.
“I’ve never really been exposed to the Port Authority,” he said during the question-and-answer period after the presentation. “I know you’re trying to reach the business community, but you might want to appeal to the average citizen — getting exposure at community events and making sure people know who you are.”
SLUDGE from DREDGE can be used for PARK.
'But the Turner Station project’s value, its proponents say, isn’t in the volume of dredged material it would use — it’s in the example it can set. Maryland officials hope it will inspire more “beneficial use” and “innovative reuse.”'
Baltimore area community looks to dredge up a better park
Turner Station leaders welcome once-shunned harbor sediment to enhance waterfront access, recreation
- By Timothy B. Wheeler on August 01, 2018
- Comments are closed for this article.
Isaac Hametz (right), of the landscape design firm Mahan Rykiel Associates, reviews park upgrade plans with (from left) Doug Myers of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and Larry Bannerman and Gloria Nelson of the Turner Station Conservation Teams. (Dave Harp)That was more than five decades ago. These days, you almost need a machete to reach the water at Fleming Park in Turner Station, a historically African-American community southeast of the city, just inside the Baltimore Beltway. Other than a pier jutting out into the creek at one spot, the rest of the shoreline is walled off by dense stands of phragmites. The invasive wetlands grass obscures some wooden pilings, all that remains of a boardwalk that once skirted the water.
“We’d come down here in the morning and by lunchtime we’d have a bushel of crabs,” he said. “Right over there, there was a boathouse,” he recalled, pointing toward Clement Cove on the north side of the park. “They used to have dances and everything when we were little.”
Today, community leaders hope to reclaim their waterfront access and enhance the park, using a material that’s historically been shunned by other communities — sand and silt dredged from the shipping channels in Baltimore’s harbor.
“I’d like a boardwalk and the shoreline enhanced, where we can get back on the water,” said Gloria Nelson, president of the Turner Station Conservation Teams, recently as she and Bannerman, chairman of infrastructure, traffic and safety for the group, walked around the 16-acre park and talked about the plan for giving it a makeover.
With design help from Mahan Rykiel Associates, a landscape architecture firm, they propose to use sediment pumped in from the harbor bottom to transform the reedy, rocky shoreline into a marsh that would support native vegetation, waterfowl and other wildlife. They also want to use some of the dredged material in a playground in the park, to give children some low mounds to run up and down.
“Essentially, you don’t have a waterfront park here because you don’t have access to [water],” said Isaac Hametz, Mahan Rykiel’s research director, who’s working with the community on the plan — which has the support of a host of public agencies, area companies and the nonprofit Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
Lucidity Information Design LLCIf the community and its partners can secure the funding and regulatory approvals needed for the proposed park upgrade, it would mark the first time that material dredged from the harbor’s bottom has been placed back on land in a residential neighborhood — and in this case, at the residents’ request.
That level of acceptance has been a long time coming. The Maryland Port Administration has been toiling for decades to melt public resistance to placing the harbor’s dredged material on land anywhere near people. Part of that hostility has been sensory — the muck can give off a rotten-egg sulfur smell when it first comes out of the water. But there’s also been concern about contaminants from two centuries of shipbuilding and manufacturing along Baltimore’s waterfront.
It took the port 14 years to overcome lawsuits and public opposition to using dredged material to create Hart-Miller Island, which sits out in the Bay just off the Baltimore County shore. The port now has approval to place harbor material in a pair of diked containments at Masonville Cove in industrial southern Baltimore and at Cox Creek, near the mouth of the Patapsco.
Masonville Cove was a precedent of sorts. The port won the nearby community’s approval to use dredged material by pledging to reclaim what had once been a recreational beach used decades ago by residents. Port contractors removed tons of debris and contaminants along the shoreline, then created a waterfront nature park with an environmental education center. But unlike the Fleming Park plan, Masonville Cove is physically separated from Curtis Bay by busy highways and rail lines. It’s reachable only by vehicle and has limited hours for use by the public.
It’s notable that Turner Station would be the place to push the envelope on public acceptance of dredged material. The community developed after World War I, as black steelworkers found themselves excluded from new housing built elsewhere in the Dundalk area of Baltimore County. It has hung together, despite decades of abuse and neglect — an injustice that in some ways is being belatedly acknowledged. The county recently posted signs there honoring Henrietta Lacks, of recent book and movie fame. A resident of Turner Station, she unwittingly gave her cells for use in medical research that’s led to some life-saving breakthroughs, though she never benefited herself or even knew about it.
Today, the neighborhood is sandwiched by industry, with Dundalk Marine Terminal to the northwest and the former steel mill complex on Sparrows Point across Bear Creek, now being redeveloped as a hub for shipping, manufacturing and distribution. It’s a community that might understandably be suspicious of being dumped on again, of being taken advantage of.
This project, though, came together with the consent and even encouragement of community leaders. It grew out of a design research collaborative that Mahan Rykiel led last year in partnership with the port administration and other public and private entities. The firm enlisted four graduate student interns to think creatively about how and where to use material dredged from shipping channels.
“They brought a landscape design lens to what for us has been an age-old challenge — finding places to put the stuff,” said Kristen Fidler, chief of outreach, policy and permits in the port administration’s office of harbor development.
Seeking ideas, Hametz and the interns met with several of the MPA’s citizen and stakeholder advisory committees. One of the groups they met with was the “harbor team,” which advises the port on the placement of dredged material. Nelson and Bannerman, who represent Turner Station on that team, suggested doing something at the park, according to Fidler.
“We were thrilled and so pleased that they were open to that possibility and saying that they’re a welcome recipient of it,” Fidler said. “We’ve… really worked hard together to address the stigma that harbor-dredged material is scary. Folks are now recognizing that it’s a resource of value that can be reused in a variety of different ways.”
Mahan Rykiel’s Isaac Hametz forges his way through phragmites and other vegetation blocking access to Clement Cove on the north side of Fleming Park in Turner Station. (Dave Harp)Per guidelines recently developed by the Maryland Department of the Environment, the Fleming Park dredge material would be tested and screened to ensure that people aren’t exposed to contaminants that linger in some sediments, Fidler said. Indeed, Hametz suggested, the dredged material might even help remediate legacy pollution from when Bethlehem Steel occupied Sparrows Point, leaving heavy metals and other contaminants in the bottom mud of Bear Creek. The sediment placement and native plantings, he said, could help keep contaminants from being stirred up by waves.
First, though, the project needs to secure funding and regulatory approvals. Toward that end, the Turner Station Conservation Teams, with the help of Mahan Rykiel, submitted a proposal in March to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, seeking inclusion in a congressionally authorized pilot program to demonstrate the beneficial use of dredged material.
The group is asking for $1 million in federal funds, to be matched by $668,000 from other sources, to create the marsh habitat at the park by spreading a thin layer of dredged material in the shallow water along the shoreline. Sediment would be pumped up from navigation channels and deposited in depths of no more than 2 feet, and more likely just a few inches.
The Corps plans to select 10 projects nationwide for funding, out of nearly 100 proposals in the running. Even if Turner Station makes the cut, those funds would only pay for spreading about 2,600 cubic yards of dredged material, which is just a portion of what’s envisioned for the park makeover.
Hametz said the overall plan calls for using about 10,000 cubic yards — enough to fill three Olympic size swimming pools — to create marsh along 2,600 feet of shoreline and build some small mounds in the playground. To make the park more resilient to storms and rising sea level, Hametz said, another 10,000 cubic yards could be used to build an earthen berm around the waterfront. The total cost, likewise, would be significantly more.
Getting local funding may be a challenge, though. Baltimore County officials have yet to be persuaded to spend their money on a project like this involving the placement of dredged material.
“It’s sort of a nice intent, but we don’t think it’s practical at this point,” said Vincent J. Gardina, county director of environmental protection and sustainability.
The county has budgeted about $750,000 toward shoreline stabilization at Turner Station and one other nearby community. But to date, the county has focused on doing shoreline projects that will control erosion and reduce nutrient pollution. Gardina said he’s concerned that using dredged material this way could actually release more nutrients and other pollutants into the water, at least in the short term, and that it could be much more expensive to do and oversee.
Hametz said he and Turner Station leaders hope to meet with county, state and federal agency officials to answer their questions and concerns about the project and persuade them it’s worth doing. The elected officials they’ve met with so far have been interested and supportive, he noted.
Artist’s rendering of a portion of an upgraded Fleming Park, with dredged material used to create marsh habitat and access to the water restored by rebuilding an old boardwalk. (Mahan Rykiel Associates)If it comes together, the makeover of Fleming Park won’t provide much of a solution to the port’s need for places to put dredged material. More than 1 million cubic yards gets excavated every year in the harbor alone, Fidler said, and nearly 5 million cubic yards gets dredged annually to maintain the shipping channels serving Baltimore, from the Chesapeake & Delaware canal at the head of the Bay to Cape Henry where it meets the Atlantic Ocean.
But the Turner Station project’s value, its proponents say, isn’t in the volume of dredged material it would use — it’s in the example it can set. Maryland officials hope it will inspire more “beneficial use” and “innovative reuse.”
Indeed, the state Department of Natural Resources is looking to map sites all around Maryland that might benefit from a similar thin-layer placement of dredged material. Jackie Specht, a fellow with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration who’s working at the DNR, is spearheading the effort.
“We wanted to take that idea and run with it and do a similar model,” she said, “[to find] sites where we do frequent dredging but don’t have suitable placement sites.”
But for supporters of the Fleming Park project, it’s about more than just a physical renovation of a tired recreation site. Doug Myers, Maryland senior scientist at the Bay Foundation, said that’s why the Annapolis-based foundation has stepped up to be a partner in the effort.
“The Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s vessel, Snow Goose, could dock here and take kids out,” he said. “We could do oyster gardening here and place those oysters onto the Fort Carroll restoration site [near the mouth of Bear Creek]. There’s a lot of opportunity for us to get engaged more with the community, have the community have more access to the Bay the way they used to.”
“There are just so many opportunities for the community in this project,” Gloria Nelson said. “We want to bring it to life and hope we see it within our time frame, so that we can have an opportunity to enjoy it.”
Whether at Turner Station or somewhere else, Hametz said, something has to be done with all of the material dredged from the bottom of the Bay and its rivers and creeks. Given the difficulties finding places its disposal, it makes sense to try to work out beneficial uses for it like this, he added.
“This isn’t just a Baltimore County problem,” Hametz concluded. “It’s a Baywide problem, and we’re going to have to find creative solutions if we’re going to continue to live near the Bay.”
DREDGING brings up settled toxic metals et al-------we shouted against DREDGING and against using sludge from dredging to build parks. As with GREEN BUILDINGS/LEED------using coal fire power plant SLUDGE known to be toxic----this is one more attack in public health in near future.
TURNER'S STATION is shown right across from this mill. What MOVING FORWARD will build will be 1000 times the polluter.
DREDGING aside-----building SEA WALLS for mooring super-duper cargo ships will not end in being A WALK IN THE PARK.
Health Risks in Water and Sediment at Sparrows Point
A recent study found long-term exposure to sediments and waters adjacent to Coke Point may result in elevated health risks.
A meeting to discuss the report will be held June 1 at the North Point Edgemere Volunteer Fire Company.
By Ron Cassie, Patch Staff
May 24, 2011 5:18 pm ET | Updated May 26, 2011 6:45 am ET
An environmental study authorized by the state of Maryland released Monday found higher than acceptable levels of risk for human beings and ecological resources with long-term exposure to sediment and surface water along the Coke Point shoreline at Sparrows Point.
The Maryland Port Administration is interested in acquiring the Coke Point peninsula on Sparrows Point as a potential site for a dredged material containment facility for the placement of sediment dredged from the channels in Baltimore Harbor. The MPA commissioned the risk assessment as part of evaluating the Coke Point for a dredging facility.
The Coke Point site is presently owned by RG Steel, the new owners of the steel mill at Sparrows Point. Long-term exposure, according to the study guidelines, is defined as 30 years over a lifespan of 70.
Maryland Director of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation Kim Coble called the findings "disturbing" in a Baltimore Sun story, adding they were in line with contamination found in past sampling. Coble, the Sun reported, said authorities should proceed with a study of Bear Creek, a more widely used Patapsco tributary in the Dundalk area near Sparrows Point.
"Bear Creek isn't that far away," Coble told the Sun. Last July, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Baltimore Harbor Waterkeeper and a handful of local residents filed suit against Severstal and ArcelorMittal USA, the previous owners of the Sparrows Point mill, accusing them of polluting nearby water and endangering citizens' health.
"The location of a containment facility at Coke Point is one option under consideration as the Port of Baltimore seeks future dredged material placement sites," said Maryland Transportation Secretary Beverley K. Swaim-Staley in a press statement. "However, the benefit of examining the Coke Point location is that data has now been produced that can help guide private and public sector environmental cleanup efforts at the site."
"While we have been hard at work ensuring that the onshore contamination is being addressed, the completion of this study gives us a much better understanding of the scope and nature of the offshore contamination associated with Coke Point," Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Robert M. Summers said in a press statement accompanying the report's release. "People who crab or fish in these areas should refer to the existing consumption advisories.
"For nearly a decade, there have been fish consumption advisories in effect for these waters; this study reaffirms that guidance. We understand the communities' concern and agree that this contamination is not acceptable. Additional action by the owners of the property must be taken as soon as possible to address the contamination."
The 2,300-acre Sparrows Point property is subject to a 1997 Judicial Consent Decree, following a suit brought by the Environmental Protection Agency against former mill owners Bethlehem Steel. The decree, still in place with subsequent mill owners, requires a comprehensive site investigation and cleanup to address contamination and is overseen by the Maryland Department of the Environment and the EPA.
The new study also assessed ecological risks for aquatic and benthic (bottom dwelling) organisms such as fish, crabs, worms and clams, and for other wildlife living on and around the Coke Point shoreline. The study found that the potential risk from contamination in offshore sediments and surface water to aquatic, benthic organisms and wildlife is at a level that warrants remedial measures.
"The Sparrows Point property, with its history of more than a century of industrial pollution, is perhaps the most complex cleanup site in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. In recent years, however, significant progress has been made in this difficult endeavor," Summers said in the press release. "Since 2007, MDE and EPA have significantly increased the pressure on the owners of the Sparrows Point property to move from assessing contamination at the site to taking more aggressive cleanup actions and are litigating in court to compel the companies to conduct an assessment of offshore contamination."
Del. John Olszewski Jr., said he was at least pleased that "worst-case scenarios" feared by some about water and sediment near Coke Point were not reflected in the study.
"Still, it's a call to action to seek appropriate remediation as fast as possible," Olszewski said.
Olszewski added that he would like to see the Port Administration ultimately decide to use the Coke Point peninsula as a dredging facility—partly to ensure proper investigation and cleanup of the area.
According to the Port Administration, two of the six proposed treatment cells to recover and treat benzene contamination of groundwater in the Coke Point area are operational, with two additional cells on schedule to be operational by July 2011.
From the report:
"The human health risk assessment for public health impacts showed that:
• Risk from consumption of fish and crabs is comparable to the rest of the Patapsco River, for which MDE has established fish and crab consumption advisories.
• Potential risk from long-term contact with the surface water in the area along the shoreline of Coke Point is higher than in the background area of the Patapsco River and higher than levels typically considered acceptable.
• Potential risks from long-term contact with the sediment is elevated at levels higher than in the background areas of the Patapsco River but within levels typically considered acceptable.
The ecological risk assessment showed that:
• Ecological risks are higher for Coke Point than for the background area in the Patapsco River.
• Concentrations of contaminants in the Coke Point offshore sediments exceeded levels considered to be fully protective of aquatic animals.
• Risks to aquatic animals from off shore surface water exceeded levels considered to be protective.
• For wildlife, the assessment indicated potential risks to wildlife which eat aquatic animals that are exposed to contaminants in the sediment."
The report can be found here.
'The political influence on, and infusion into, the DRC is tremendous. Take, for example, the press release announcing that the “Renaissance Cornerstone Award” will go to Tradepoint Atlantic.
We find it rather disturbing that a member of DRC’s Board, Mr. Aaron Tomarchio, is also Vice President of Corporate Affairs for Tradepoint Atlantic.
The political cronyism goes even deeper, as one of the major sponsors of the DRC is none other than the Baltimore County Government'.
This DUNDALK RENAISSANCE CORPORATION is a corporation and it works for those global corporations tied to the PORT OF BALTIMORE----it is not an advocate for any citizen, community, or environment.
THE BOARD OF DRC IS VP OF TRADEPOINT ATLANTIC.
UNHOLY? YOU BETCHA.
As here in Baltimore ---Baltimore County simply creates NGOs tied to development that then do the work to assure maximized corporate profits.
What does all this have to do with TRANSPORTATION public policy? It allows citizens to IMAGINE what communities will look like in just a few decades----what kinds of transportation does a hyper-industrial port need?
DR Menzer calling this an unholy alliance is awarded by that unholy alliance
'DRC Awardees David Grosscup, Tammy Tricario, Larry Bannerman, Alaa Malash, Jazmine Richison and Key Brewing owners, pose with Baltimore County Councilman Todd Crandell, R-6th, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski, Jr. and DRC executive director Amy Menzer'.
Unholy Alliance: DRC, BC, and TPA
Posted by Buzz Beeler on 11th February 2018
The Baltimore Post is taking a close look at some recent developments within the Dundalk Renaissance Corporation. Some of those developments are found in a passage from a recent press release announcing the DRC’s upcoming 2018 Milestone Awards ceremony:
The “Renaissance Cornerstone Award” will be presented to Tradepoint Atlantic in recognition of their work to rebrand the Sparrows Point Peninsula, plan for a more vibrant future, bring jobs for Dundalk’s next generation, and communicate with the community on their progress in a regular and meaningful way.
In order to paint a clear picture of what is taking place regarding the DRC, let’s examine some of the goals and objectives of this nonprofit corporation.
It is important to carefully read the following paragraph from the DRC’s press release. Then we will present a clear picture of perception versus reality:
The Dundalk Renaissance Corporation (DRC), a non-profit community development corporation, was founded in 2001 to mobilize stakeholders to invest in greater Dundalk’s neighborhoods, economy and quality of life. The Renaissance Milestone Awards were established to recognize the contributions of the many people and institutions that help make this revitalization possible.
There are couple of a words mentioned that go to the heart of this column. For example, the perception of DRC’s goals to improve the neighborhoods, economy, and quality of life.
In direct contrast to that issue is the following report, which indicates that Dundalk is believed to be the 10th worst city in the state of Maryland, followed by Middle River as the ninth worst city.
Now we come to the point where we separate reality versus perception. Let’s take a look at two issues that are very important to this column: money and politics.
The political influence on, and infusion into, the DRC is tremendous. Take, for example, the press release announcing that the “Renaissance Cornerstone Award” will go to Tradepoint Atlantic. We find it rather disturbing that a member of DRC’s Board, Mr. Aaron Tomarchio, is also Vice President of Corporate Affairs for Tradepoint Atlantic.
The political cronyism goes even deeper, as one of the major sponsors of the DRC is none other than the Baltimore County Government.
With that in mind, one has to ask where the DRC gets the means towards fulfilling the goals stated above.
Here is the way the system works. The DRC writes a grant, which then goes to the pols in Annapolis. The grant is approved by the pols and then funneled back to the politicians in Baltimore County. Finally, through resolutions (such as the one listed below), the grant money winds up in the coffers of the DRC.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the recent funding the DRC has received, and how it’s being allocated.
This quote from an article written by Marge Neal in The East County Times, dated November 9, 2017, reveals some interesting figures:
DRC received $150,000 for operating support; $250,000 for the Vibrant Neighborhoods 2.0 Revolving Loan Fund; $200,000 for home purchase incentive forgivable loans; $100,000 for commercial improvement grants; and $100,000 in Main Street business incubator gap funding.
You may notice the $200,000 grant for home purchase forgivable loans. But where does what’s left of the middle class of this district apply for a forgivable loan?
The money flow does not stop there, and once again there are political connections. Take a look at the below document regarding Baltimore County Council Resolution 43–17 and you will see another $410,000 pumped into the DRC’s coffers.
Before closing, we have one final question to ask the leadership of the DRC:
How can the DRC justify supporting Tradepoint Atlantic (TPA) with an award that ultimately could negatively impact the very district the DRC claims to support?
Understand that the ultimate goal of TPA, which is a private enterprise being supported by taxpayer funds, could potentially harm the Chesapeake Bay and the air we breathe, as well as burden the middle class taxpayers by providing more insufficient living wage jobs.
In conclusion, if you can read this report and say DRC is providing a positive impact on the community by supporting two of the richest businessmen in the country– Jim Davis and Steve Biscotti, owners of the Allegis group –then The Baltimore Post will raise the white flag of surrender.
Speaking of politics, we would like to refer you to this quote from a Brew article that defines the whole issue. The gentleman referred to in the quote is Johnny Olszewski, Jr. who is running for Baltimore County Executive, yet he refused to be interviewed by Baltimore Post:
“If Redwood is the buyer, I believe that this signals great potential and promise for the entire Sparrows Point peninsula,” Olszewski said. “Not only does Redwood have a significant capital base that would be necessary to cultivate a clean property and pro-growth environment at the site, but they also are a local company headquarters right here in Maryland.”