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List of State Officials - Martin O'Malley, Governor; Anthony Brown, Lt. Governor; Shari T. Wilson, Acting MDE Secretary 

Volume II, Number 11

 March 2007

eMDE is a monthly publication of the Maryland Department of the Environment. It covers articles on current environmental issues and events in the state. 

General Motors Plant Site Revitalized

By Luke Wisniewski and Kara Schwenke, Waste Management Administration

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GM Plant  

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MDE Fosters Environmental Redevelopment of GM Site

Long regarded by many Baltimoreans as an industrial landmark, the General Motors (GM) van assembly plant in East Baltimore decided to shut down operations after 68 years in 2005. Knowing that developers would be drawn by its large size and strategic location, GM officials announced that the 182-acre property would be sold for redevelopment. Working with the Maryland Department of the Environment’s (MDE) Environmental Restoration and Redevelopment Program (ERRP), Duke Realty has undertaken the challenge of the cleanup and subsequent redevelopment of this GM site.

GM, however, faced many challenges with this plan. Not only did the company need to close out its hazardous waste storage permit with MDE, it also had to satisfy its statutory and regulatory obligations for hazardous waste management under the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). GM also knew that environmental contamination existed on the site, necessitating a substantial cleanup plan.

Realtor Recognized for Remediation and Redevelopment of Reusable Properties

Duke Realty was awarded the purchase contract of the site based on their financial offer and expertise in remediation and redevelopment of industrial properties. Duke recognized that although GM retained liability for any hazardous waste contamination, it would need to satisfy both the federal and state regulatory requirements to make the property an attractive commercial project.

Inter-Agency Cooperation

The Duke team was aided in this redevelopment effort by GM’s decision to enter into a facility-lead agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region III (EPA). “One key element to the successful coordination between EPA, MDE and the Duke team was the commitment to openly discuss the goals and objectives for the project and work cooperatively to solve difficult issues,” stated Jim Carroll, Program Administrator for MDE’s ERRP. In a collaborative effort, a master schedule was generated to help explain the site development plan, the project timeline, and how the remedial and development efforts fit together.

Timeline: Tight Deadlines for Tenacious Turnaround

February 2006 - Duke signed a Facility Lead Agreement with EPA Region III, taking over the RCRA Corrective action efforts. Duke team also began holding public meetings to communicate project goals and activities and to solicit input on cleanup and development issues from the community.
April 2006 - GM completed the work necessary to close their outstanding Controlled Hazardous Substance (CHS) Permit.
Early spring/summer, 2006 - Phase I Environmental Site Assessment was completed, Duke submitted applications to MDE’s Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP) for development, and the RCRA Facility Investigation was initiated.
November/December 2006 - a number of underground storage tanks were removed, the RCRA Field Facility Investigation was completed, and work began on the Remedial Action Plan.
March 2007 - proposed plan is expected to be complete. The demolition is largely complete with piles of various grades of metal staged on the property awaiting shipment to recyclers.
April 2007 - Duke anticipates redevelopment of the commercial business park to begin.

Go Live! See Today’s Action on Camera 2!

While much has been accomplished, there is still more to do. As part of the development, the Duke team has reached out to the surrounding community to keep them informed of their plans. The site is located on the edge of the industrial area and borders individual homes, making these efforts even more important. Anyone interested in viewing some of the work online can log on to www.hullinc.com/webcam/baltimore.htm to see some of the property through a webcam. The community has been supportive of the redevelopment. In some cases, the redevelopment may afford residents a better view of the harbor previously obscured by the GM facility.

Duke plans to invest more than $140 million in the site and is anticipating the redevelopment of the commercial business park. The project is expected to create thousands of new jobs over the next ten years and aims to bring one of Baltimore’s largest and most prominent industrial properties back to life.

MDE is proud of the cooperation, both intra-agency and with EPA Region III, which has allowed this historic and important project to move forward in a rapid, but environmentally responsible manner. Click here for more information on the Duke Realty Redevelopment Project and MDE’s EERP or VCP programs.


©2007 Copyright MDE

Editorial Board
Maryland Department of the Environment
1800 Washington Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21230