BALTIMORE (AP) — Two Baltimore warehouses considered environmental hazards sit abandoned while the Environmental Protection Agency pursues court-ordered access to clear the sites.

News outlets report city housing inspectors tipped off by a Maryland Department of the Environment inspector found barrels of toxic substances stacked in two dilapidated warehouses in May. According to an EPA inspection report, the warehouses along a stream near the Baltimore County line are open to the elements.

A fire battalion chief warned officials a potential fire would likely be a “seven-alarm fire” with a catastrophic environmental impact.

EPA spokesman David Sternberg says the department is maintaining site security while pursuing access. Records list Kinloch Nelson Yellott III as the owner, but he told EPA officials the property was sold in a tax sale.

Cleanup costs are estimated at $1.8 million.

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