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Curtis Bay Coast Guard Yard Added to Superfund Hazardous Site List

Release Date: 9/4/2002
Contact Information: David Sternberg, (215) 814-5548

David Sternberg, (215) 814-5548

PHILADELPHIA - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will finalize the addition of the Curtis Bay Coast Guard Yard near Baltimore, Md. to the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL) of hazardous waste sites tomorrow, September 5.

The NPL is a national list of sites where contaminants have impacted or might impact public health or the environment. NPL sites are required to undergo a thorough assessment of the nature and extent of contamination prior to cleanup by EPA or the responsible parties.

The Curtis Bay Yard is a century-old, 113-acre facility located on the east side of Curtis Creek, south of Hawkins Point Road. It is situated in northern Anne Arundel County, six miles southeast of downtown Baltimore. The facility currently provides core industrial support for the U.S. Coast Guard, including the design, construction, and repair of ships and boats. Previously, the yard was a fully operational shipbuilding facility, with peak use during World War II, when over 3000 employees worked round-the-clock on Coast Guard and Navy ships.

The U. S. Coast Guard Yard has investigated environmental conditions at its yard over the past 10 years, leading to EPA’s decision to add the site to the NPL. These investigations have identified several areas of concern, with low levels of contaminants such as metals, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), pesticides, and dioxins. VOCs and SVOCs are chemicals found in solvents and degreasers. PCBs are used for insulating electrical equipment. The contamination extends to the sediments of Curtis Creek below the yard’s dry docks, where ships have been repaired and renovated for many decades. The contamination at the Yard is the result of operational practices prior to 1950, which have long since ceased

Documents related to the site will continue to be available for public review at the North County Area Library (Anne Arundel County Library), 1010 Eastway in Glen Burnie, Md.