City's Swann Park to reopen after arsenic cleanup

Arsenic-laden soil removed, new soil added

May 19, 2010|By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun

South Baltimore's Swann Park will reopen this weekend after being closed for the past three years because of arsenic contamination.

The city's parks department will hold a ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday at the park before the first pitch at little league games.

The park was closed in April 2007 after officials discovered high levels of arsenic in the soil due to a nearby Allied Chemical Co. plant, which for years produced pesticides. The company was taken over by Honeywell International.

The park was covered with 2 feet of clean dirt under a plan drafted by the city and Honeywell

Soil from highly contaminated "hot spots" was removed and taken to landfills in Frostburg, Pennsylvania and Virginia, said Jay Apperson, spokesman with the Maryland Department of the Environment. He said a protective, moisture-resistant fabric was also added.

City recreation and parks department spokeswoman Gwendolyn Burrell said that in addition to removing the arsenic-laden soil, new fencing, bleachers, dugouts and lights were added to the park.

"It's pretty much a new park," she said.

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