Kent Island land deal put on hold

September 18, 2007|By Greg Garland | Greg Garland,Sun reporter

A deal the state struck last month to buy a 74-acre property at the northern tip of Kent Island has been put on hold to allow the seller time to clean up a small area of environmental contamination, officials said yesterday.

General Services Secretary Alvin C. Collins notified members of the Board of Public Works yesterday of the delay in settling the $7.2 million purchase of the Langenfelder Marine property, which the board approved Aug. 1 in a 2-1 vote.

Under the terms of the contract, the property owner - Atchafalya Holdings LLC - has 180 days from the date of the vote to fix any environmental problems on the site, said David Humphrey, a spokesman for the General Services Department.

Robert C. Douglas, an attorney for the company, said the cleanup involves areas around three above-ground fuel tanks where gasoline and diesel have splashed out as tanks are being filled or as fuel is dispensed into vehicles.

He said an environmental consultant the company hired found that the spills mostly affect a small area of the property and only a shallow layer of soil. "We're only talking about a couple of weeks' delay to come up with a state-approved plan to remove the soil," Douglas said.

Humphrey confirmed that 90 percent of the environmental problems found at the site involved spilled diesel fuel. He said a state consultant found groundwater contamination.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Natural Resources, which recommended buying the property under Maryland's Program Open Space, said she doesn't expect the cleanup to derail the sale.

Langenfelder Marine operates a dredging and marine transport business.

greg.garland@baltsun.com

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