I live within a mile of the Eastalco property in Adamstown. I heard about the proposed “new town” designation of the property through County Councilman Kai Hagen’s efforts to get the public’s opinion on it. It sounds to me like Eastalco wants to make as much money as it can off the land with no regard for the opinions of local residents or the environmental issues still remaining on-site.

It should be known that Eastalco has not been completely cleaned up. The case with the Maryland Department of the Environment has been closed; however, there is still likely residual contamination on-site and the owners will have to continue long-term monitoring of groundwater, surface water and soil contamination. There are two closed industrial waste landfills on the property that will need to be monitored. Additionally, in recent years 10 more debris disposal sites have been uncovered on the property. There is a strong possibility there are other unknown disposal or contamination areas on the property. Known carcinogens have contaminated the property, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), tetrachloroethene (PCE), poly-aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and arsenic. It should also be noted that the levels of contamination on-site were compared to the state restricted commercial and industrial standards, not residential standards.

When the MDE closed this case, they put in place engineering and institutional controls that will be required to be implemented now and during any future development. As part of these controls, the use of the identified soil management area (the approximately 300 acres frequently referred to) can only be restricted commercial or industrial. If a developer wants to build residential buildings in the soil management area, more cleanup may be required. Potential buyers/lenders of this property will have to take on a lot of risk due to the known and possible unknown contamination, and the overall costs associated with the required controls and monitoring.

There are already issues in Adamstown regarding walkability and public transportation that will never be addressed; is this because we are not wealthy developers/owners that have the ear of public officials? Wouldn’t it make more sense to use this land as something nonresidential that is also useful to the county and the environment, such as a

solar panel farm, a nature preserve, or a park? After decades of contamination from this property, it would be nice to see it become beneficial to the environment.

Vanessa Gress

Adamstown

(22) comments

jerseygrl42

Doesn't sound like a great place for people to reside but we'll have to follow the money on this one especially with Natelli involved....and remember some of those in power are the same folks that tried to sell us on the value of burning trash and recyclable material and many LIES were told to the public during the years it was actively pursued ,with NO concern for the poisons that it would have brought to our environment

hayduke2

jersey does her "drive by" posting once again. No time to challenge or get a response.

StrengthofLiberty

The closing sentence of the Gress Op-Ed or LTE - puts this site and the polticians who are comprehensively livability dancing, in a character defining position. Either we the "bottom up" engaged community are successful in seeking a healthy, open air space, or the unimaginative wonderworld of developers values is built. Helen Keller wrote in 1940: “Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.”

A state park on a grand scale is exactly what Frederick County, and surrounding communities needs to bolster a feeling that together we are in fact doing more than being duped into ugly architecture, with all the inevitable rubbish. Our nation, this state - especially with Maryland needs an engineering feat on this scale. Not more roads to perpetuate what we all know to be an unhealthy. We need, a natural place that validates everything we experience about "green" this "sustainable" that. A sense of place - is a sense of home. The adults in the room can not any longer keep packing people in. By constantly sprawling, constantly consuming, by creating "strategic" jingoisms; all this is saying is -yes to the constancy of consumption. We need more engineers, architects. Not entertainers. We need the adventure of a unfied society that is building something - not tearing something down to replace it with what is already.

DickD

Here is a brief summary of the Alcoa contamination at Manor Woods Rd. Read the whole article for more determination, it is printable, not able to copy.



https://mde.maryland.gov/programs/LAND/MarylandBrownfieldVCP/Documents/Former%20Alcoa%20Eastalco.pdf ALCOA aluminum production from 1969 to December 2005.  Closed March 2010 and demolition completed in early 2017.PCBs were used at the site from 1970 to 1976 and stored in an on site landfill.PCEs Tetrachlorethene was used at a sub station from 1970 to 1980, drums of it were stored on the south side of the substation control building.  PCE was phased out and discontinued in 1987.There was an environmental investigation in 1983 - 1984 and some clean up was done.  In 1992 Eastalcoa signed a Consent Order (CO-92-149) resulting in more clean up.  In 2007 Eastalcoa signed a Consent Order (CO-07-026) which eliminated PCE as a concern and ALCOA was to continue monitoring groundwater and surface water for fluoride and cyanide.There were further concerns then on May 15, 2018 a MDE was issued for "No further action determined.

DickD

Good information, Vanessa. You are right, it is mostly greed that this site has been included under "livable Frederick ". And Natelli appears to be deeply involved, if not driving it.



What is the liability for developers if the site is allowed under "livable Frederick "?

jerseygrl42

No surprise and he seems to have his way with those in power for some reason

Frayou

tetrachloroethene Was a common degreasing agent commonly used by industrial companies as well as auto shops. This company was operating at a time when both state and Federal governments were not as involved with controlling its uses. I believe Detrick is still cleaning up areas which are contaminated with this agent. Suggest anyone or government entity thinking of granting residential development on this property should be very cautious. Additionally, Government should take precautions to insure the burden for clean ups as well as continued monitoring rest with the company responsible for contamination. Take care people. Money rather than individual health typically takes precedent. Unfortunately.

gabrielshorn2013

There are a lot of gratuitous “could be”, “may be”, and”probably” statements in this LTE, without a bit of supporting evidence from the DEP or any environmental lab analysis. This seems to be another NIMBY letter. Get back to us when you get the data supporting your statements.

richardlyons

I disagree, it sound like the letter writer know much more about this site than most. Opened in the early 1970's the Eastalco plant (200 acres and surrounding ag buffer) was zoned heavy industrial. Its smelter produced aluminum for about 30 years. The plant proper likely has significant pollution as the result and this process. The ag buffer is just that agricultural land leased by local farmers. The original agreement when Eastalco was built was that the ag buffer would be maintained and is NOT zoned heavy industrial. Their have been and continue to be issues with ground water contamination at this site. Suggest you research before accusing a local resident of being a "NIMBY". Local residents have concerns and they will be addressed. Alcoa has NO concern for this property other than how much money they can make off its sale. While I do not live near the site, our church, St. Joseph's is surrounded by the Alcoa property and is on well water. The church was there 150 years before the Eastalco plant and saw it come and go. Concern for our church property is not NIMBY.

Thewheelone

Well done, Richard. Clearly the letter writer has done her research. It is the way of some to call others names and cast aspersions in the face of reason.

hayduke2

Agreed Wheel! Some like to play the "gotcha" game with their posts.

gabrielshorn2013

Oh, I agree richard. However, it would have been helpful by referring to a report from an agency to give the claims some credibility. That was my point.

richardlyons

Fair enough. Rich

DickD

Richard, St. Josephs Catholic Church is very old. If my memory is right it was built on the Carroll property for a place to worship. In the old church there was, still may be, a picture that had smoke damage due to a fire set by the Confederates, during the Civil War. .If you go into the basement of the old church, you will see the original hand hewn timbers. The back part was the original part of the old church. The front part is a little newer. I believe that the first part was built in 1810.



The sidewalk in front of the old church, going to the parking lot to the right, was added about 30 years ago. Found a 10 gage shot gun shell casing there. In the summer time we used to have mass outdoors, near the parking lot, on the right.



The cemetery has a lot of Irish buried there. .I think that they worked on the C.& O. Canal.

lilysue22

I have the data, I did a file review of the property at the MDE. What’s your email address? I’ll send it to you.

Thewheelone

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup], lilysue22

gabrielshorn2013

If you could provide a link, that would be great. Thanks. Gabe

lilysue22

Here’s a link to public info the MDE has posted. You have to do a physical review at the MDE for analytical data, which I did. I have PDFs of reports I can email. I don’t appreciate you insinuating that I made this up when I have done my research. I didn’t have room to write up every analytical result in the letter, I wanted to write it in a way all would understand. https://mde.maryland.gov/programs/LAND/MarylandBrownfieldVCP/Documents/Former%20Alcoa%20Eastalco.pdf

gabrielshorn2013

Nobody said you made it up ma'am. This is serious stuff, and you should have at least said "according to a report from..." or provided a link to the report to enhance the credibility of your claims. Apologies.

hayduke2

[thumbup][thumbup]

DickD

Right next to the historic Carroll estate.

FrederickFan

This property was home to a heavy industrial business for decades and remains zoned for industrial. Do you and other local residents want a new industrial business because that is what is currently allowed?

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