DUNDALK, Md. (WJZ)– It’s toxic enough to be declared the newest Superfund site by the federal government.
Alex DeMetrick reports after decades of waiting, a small dump near Dundalk is finally slated to be cleaned up.
There are warning signs and fencing to keep people out of what was once the Sauer dump near Dundalk. It hasn’t been used in decades, but long time neighbors remember when it was operating.
“Well, you know it was legal then, what the hell. They dumped anything and everything,” Joe Duschl, who lives in the neighborhood, said.
“Well it was legal, but it should never have been done,” Horacio Tablada of the Maryland Department of Environment said.
Because Maryland’s Department of Environment has found PCBs at the site.
Plastic covers some of the ground where electric transformers were once dumped, and the toxic chemical leaked out.
“So there’s some in the groundwater, which is very shallow, and some in the sediment and it gets into the water,” Tablada said.
The water is the Back River. For years, the state has been warning people not to eat bottom-feeding fish caught here because they store up PCBs. And for years, it has trying to figure out how to clean it up.
The answer now comes from the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which has declared the abandoned dump a Superfund site, meaning federal money.
“The expense is related to the PCB removal,” Tablada said. “It takes a lot of money to do that.”
While the EPA has declared the Dundalk dump a Superfund site, it hasn’t set a date for cleanup to begin.
“We’re glad to see it’s going to happen, you know,” Duschl said. “The government just takes a long time to do anything, you know.”
The EPA has yet to estimate the cost for the cleanup.