MDE, EPA shilling for TPA with Superfund cleanup of former Bethlehem Steel site
Posted by Buzz Beeler on 28th April 2018
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A member of the EPA updates the status of TPA’s cleanup efforts.  (Photo Credit: The Baltimore Post)

 

The very first issue that, upon close scrutiny, should jump out to the reader is the title of the meeting pictured above. You can’t help but notice the words Former Sparrows Point Steel Mill in the presentation by the Maryland Department of the Environment, along with federal officials representing the EPA.

Maybe someone should inform both the MDE and the EPA that the site is now owned by TradePoint Atlantic. We question whether the title of the public meeting was an error of omission, or was it–as we suspect–a matter of collusion.

The Post brings up the term “shilling” because EPA officials went out of their way to sequester one of our questions regarding the economic factor at stake in the report presented to the public. The other issue concerned another EPA official interrupting our questioning of who is paying for this Superfund cleanup of the former Sparrows Point/Bethlehem Steel site. The gentleman speaking on behalf of the government stated it was TPA and not the taxpayers, as we alluded, paying the freight on the contaminated site.

Based on that statement alone, let’s do some math. TPA received $120 million in taxable refunds on building materials for their private enterprise site. On top of that, they have set aside $48 million in funds established to remediate a Superfund disaster that has contaminated the area for more than 100 years. Out of that $48 million TPA set aside for remediation, an MDE official acknowledged that–to date–only $7 million has been spent on the cleanup efforts.

So EPA’s math does not add up. If TPA spent the entire $48 million on remediation efforts, that would still leave taxpayers holding the bag for roughly $72 million.

In addition, the $120 million in tax credits does not include the additional tax credit request of $140 million for infrastructure upgrades at TPA.

We already know Merrit Blvd. and Peninsula Highway have been resurfaced to allow for heavy truck traffic into the heart of TPA. We question who is behind the push to have taxpayers fund private enterprise, especially since this enterprise may lead to environmental and health issues down the road if not handled properly.

Below is the video the Post took at a town hall meeting, which may shed some light on this issue. As the saying goes, “The truth is in the eye of the beholder.” 

The one issue that the Post is already dealt with was the one dealing with Delicate Grammaer’s reference to the construction of the windmills at TPA.

 

 

The Post has already addressed the one issue that Delegate Grammer referred to as a job creator for TPA regarding the construction of wind tunnels. The news on that issue was also very disturbing

The Post received documentation going back to 1997 when Bethlehem Steel agreed to remediate the site. The problem is that nothing was done to accomplish that goal. So how can a state agency, as well as a federal agency, lay claim to the fact that this is not a Superfund disaster but rather a small problem that can be dealt with by capping some areas of the TPA site.

The 1997 report basically states that none of the goals of the cleanup wherever completed. If that is the case, as the documents show, then how can EPA or MDE make such unsubstantiated claims?

The Post interviewed several environmental specialists familiar with the site, and they claimed the toxicity of the tin mill canal makes it one of the largest contaminated sites on the east coast. Another claim made is that the former Beth Steel site is three times more dangerous than the infamous Love Canal superfund disaster.

There are other compelling issues as well. If you listen carefully to the three audio clips below, you will hear the bureaucrats well in control of distributing information to the public.

In the first audio clip, the EPA official sets the tone for the meeting by announcing the bright spot related to the cleanup issue. This can be found at 1:25 of the clip.

 

 

 

Is MDE playing Truth or Consequences? (Photo Credit: The Baltimore Post)

 

In the second audio clip, the vice chair of the Chesapeake Legal Alliance speaks to the issue of highly toxic water that is being drained into the bay. This clip verifies our above statement that there was nothing done by either the EPA or the MDE regarding the original problems at the former Bethlehem Steel site.

 

 

In this brief and last audio clip, a resident from the Fort Howard Community Association brings to light the fact that the current rock crushing going on at TPA may release toxins in the air within the dust. Notice how one of the responses from a government official is just give us a call the next time the wind blows and we’ll come right over.

 

 

Folks, this is just the beginning. The community, taxpayers, and citizens of this side of Baltimore County will fight back at the corporate welfare and cronyism that may very well jeopardize future generations.

Remember, private enterprise is only focused on the bottom line, not the public or the community.

Stay tuned as we track the chemicals that will eventually bubble up to the surface. Those interested in protecting us from this Superfund disaster continue to fight on the side of what’s best for the people, and not what’s best for the billionaires who own TPA.

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