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CENTRAL CHEMICAL CORPORATION, Hagerstown, Washington County -- On January 21, 1999, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit affirmed the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to place the Central Chemical Corporation site on the National Priorities List (NPL). The NPL is EPA’s list of the most serious hazardous waste sites in the country. Montrose Chemical Corporation, the petitioner, is one of 23 parties responsible for the contamination found at Central Chemical Corporation.
The Central Chemical Corporation site was placed on the NPL in September 1997. NPL sites are eligible for Superfund-financed cleanup, including long-term financial, technical and personnel support from the EPA. From the early 1930s to the mid-1980s, the chemical plant blended agricultural pesticides and fertilizers, creating waste materials that allegedly were disposed of on site in what may have been an old stone quarry. Contaminants found in the soil, ground water, surface water and sediment, and in the tissue of fish caught downstream of the site included arsenic, lead, benzene, aldrin, chlordane, DDD, DDE, DDT, dieldrin and methoxychlor.
Background: Located in the northeast corner of the property, the Central Chemical Site includes a 19-acre parcel of land with an electrical substation owned by the City of Hagerstown. In early 1997, it was discovered that site contaminants were found outside the existing site fence line and onto property currently being developed for residential use. In the spring of 1997, EPA entered into an agreement with the site owner to build a new fence to prevent people from coming into contact with these contaminants. In August 1997, EPA entered into an agreement with seven responsible parties: AlliedSignal, FMC, Novartis, Olin, Shell Oil, Union Carbide and Wilmington Securities to conduct an investigation of the site to quantify all the contamination there. Since that time, an additional 16 potentially responsible parties have been identified, for a total of 23.