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Agencies sign agreement for cleanup of U.S. Coast Guard yard

Release Date: 09/16/2008
Contact Information: Roy Seneca (215) 814-5567 seneca.roy@epa.gov

PHILADELPHIA (September 16, 2008) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced the signing of a federal facility inter-agency agreement with the U.S. Coast Guard for the cleanup of the Curtis Bay Coast Guard Yard Superfund site in Anne Arundel County, Md.

"This agreement is a significant milestone that will benefit the local community and environment. The agreement shows that EPA and the Coast Guard are on the same page on how we will move forward to clean up the site," said Donald S. Welsh, administrator for EPA's mid-Atlantic Region.

The agreement requires that the Coast Guard thoroughly investigate environmental impacts associated with past activities, and that appropriate actions be taken in order to protect the community and the environment. The agreement identifies roles, responsibilities, processes, and schedules EPA will follow to protect the environment and support approved land uses.

Federal facility agreements, required by Superfund, are now in place at more than 150 federal facilities nationwide. The Curtis Bay agreement is the last of those required by civilian federal agencies.

Located six miles southeast of Baltimore, the Curtis Bay Coast Guard Yard was listed on the Superfund National Priorities List in Sept. 2002. The 113-acre facility provides support for the Coast Guard, including the design, construction and repair of ships and boats. During its peak use during World War II, the yard was a fully operational shipbuilding facility.

Former site-related activities are suspected to have contributed to contamination of soils, groundwater, surface water and sediments. Soil samples reveal certain areas with semi-volatile organic compounds, metals, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), pesticides and dioxin. Sediment samples taken in Curtis Creek have indicated elevated metals concentrations suspected to be associated with dry-dock operations. For more information on the history and status of the cleanup, visit: http://www.epa.gov/reg3hscd/super/sites/MD4690307844/index.htm .