EPA orders Cardinal to clean up asbestos, chemical drums in city

April 10, 1997|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ordered a cleanup of asbestos and drums of toxic chemicals at an abandoned business in a densely populated East Baltimore neighborhood.

In an order issued yesterday, the EPA directed Cardinal Compliance Corp. to remove about 40 drums containing hazardous solvents and asbestos. They were found spilling from a furnace at a drum disposal plant the company operated at 4201 E. Fairmount Ave. The 1-acre facility is surrounded by homes, according to the EPA, and the buildings have deteriorated and are slated to be demolished.

"We are taking this action to safeguard the people who live in this area," said W. Michael McCabe, EPA Mid-Atlantic regional administrator.

Nicholas Bassetti, vice president of the Highlandtown Community Association, the closest neighborhood to the abandoned business, welcomed the EPA order. "If they've got that stored there, it has to be removed," he said.

Cardinal operated a drum disposal business at the site from 1989 to 1993, according to EPA. Empty metal drums were incinerated, crushed and sold for scrap. Plastic drums were cut up and sent to a municipal incinerator.

EPA determined in November that the site posed a risk to surrounding residents and tried without success to negotiate with the firm. If Cardinal does not comply with the order, the law allows EPA to clean the site and charge the company triple the cost.

Pub Date: 4/10/97

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