Robert BallingerMaryland Department of the Environment(410) 537-3012
Raquel GuilloryOffice of the Attorney General(410) 576-6357
BALTIMORE, MD (November 13, 2007) – The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and the Office of the Attorney General today announce a settlement with ExxonMobil to address oil pollution at ExxonMobil’s Baltimore Terminal. MDE initiated a renegotiation with ExxonMobil to significantly improve an existing administrative consent order with a more comprehensive consent decree earlier this year. This new consent decree requires ExxonMobil to adhere to a schedule for investigating the extent of contamination and implementing clean up of the oil contamination beneaththe Baltimore Terminal.
“This Consent Decree accelerates remediation, sets deadlines for achieving remedial goals and contains significant, stipulated penalties if ExxonMobil fails to meet deadlines or requirements.” said MDE Secretary Shari T. Wilson. “While this site does not now, and is not anticipated to, present a public health risk, the area is undergoing significant redevelopment. It is important that historically contaminated sites such as these are cleaned up.”
Exxon has agreed to pay penalties of $1000 per day for the first 120 days and $5000 each day, or over $1.2M a year, if it fails to meet specified deadlines. MDE can take additional actions under applicable State or federal law to require ExxonMobil to address violations of law not addressed by the consent decree. MDE may also require ExxonMobil to take additional remedial action if the remedies implemented by ExxonMobil do not adequately address oil contamination at a particular parcel. The previous, 1997 consent agreement did not establish deadlines for cleanup.
“This new agreement represents progress toward cleaning up a mess that has been plaguing the East Baltimore community for too long,” said Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler. “The community can now be assured that polluters will fulfill their responsibilities by a date certain. If they don't, working together with MDE, we are committed to aggressively enforcing the terms of the Consent Decree.”
The Baltimore Terminal situated on 92.34 acres in South Baltimore is the largest and most complex oil contamination site in the State. From the late 1800’s through 1957, the Terminal was used for refining, storing and distributing petroleum products. The refinery was a key production facility during World Wars I and II. The vast majority of the contamination resulted from those activities. From 1957 through1988, parts of the Terminal were used for storage and distribution of petroleum products. Today, the groundwater beneath the site is contaminated with petroleum products. The contamination has impacted two aquifers under the site and adjacent properties no longer owned by ExxonMobil.
To date, seven parcels have been cleaned up and have met standards, which allow for redevelopment. These parcels were sold by ExxonMobil and now are the location of a large seventeen-story office building, several small restaurants, a gymnasium, a bank, parking lots, and other commercial enterprises.
For more information about MDE Enforcement and Compliance, visit: mde.maryland.gov/Pages/enfcomp.aspx.
1800 Washington Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21230