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Contamination

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Tim Wheeler | June 24, 2013
A new study finds residential wells more likely to be contaminated when near drilling for natural gas using hydraulic fracturing. Researchers led by Duke University 's Robert Jackson report that although the vast majority of wells checked in northeastern Pennsylvania and southeastern New York had methane in them, those within one kilometer of gas drilling sites had six times more of the gas, on average, than residential wells farther away....
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Tim Wheeler | June 12, 2013
As a reminder of just how persistent some toxic chemicals can be, a Johns Hopkins-led research team reports finding traces of long-banned DDT and PCBs along with other contaminants in the blood of 50 pregnant women checked from Baltimore and its suburbs.  In a study posted online by the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology , the scientists say they detected more frequent and vigorous fetal movements in the wombs of...
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By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | June 10, 2013
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Monday that it is awarding $400,000 to the Baltimore Development Corp. to evaluate potentially contaminated property in the city for cleanup and redevelopment. The BDC, the city's economic development agency, is to receive two grants of $200,000 each after Oct. 1 to assess sites for contamination with hazardous substances or specifically with petroleum products. Shawn M. Garvin, the EPA's Mid-Atlantic regional administrator, said the grant funding is intended to serve as a catalyst for urban revitalization.
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By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | May 20, 2013
A pair of Baltimore residents filed suit Monday accusing the city of breaking the law by allowing toxic chemicals to leach into the Patapsco River from the South Baltimore site where a casino is now under construction. The lawsuit is the second to raise environmental concerns about development of the Horseshoe casino on Russell Street. It contends that the city's deal with CBAC Gaming, a coalition led by Caeser's Entertainment, exposes city taxpayers to having to pay for cleaning up contamination from the site.
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By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | April 30, 2013
Groundwater contamination from toxic waste dumped decades ago at a nearby factory in the Severn area has prompted widespread testing of residential wells and put eight homes on bottled water, state officials said. The eight households have been notified that they have unsafe levels of industrial solvents in their wells, according to the Maryland Department of the Environment, and two other homes have been found to have levels below those deemed to pose health risks. State officials said they are anxious to complete testing for the chemicals — including possible carcinogens — at dozens of other homes that had yet to respond to requests to check their wells.
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By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | March 11, 2013
A Baltimore Circuit Court judge ordered a halt Monday to construction work on the city's planned casino until a hearing Friday on a lawsuit by Westport residents alleging that the city and state improperly approved an inadequate cleanup of industrial contamination at the site. Judge Yolanda Tanner issued a temporary restraining against CBAC Gaming, the city and the Maryland Department of the Environment after lawyers for the Westport residents complained that work had begun on the Horseshoe Casino, despite assurances last week from the casino owner's lawyer that it would not engage in any construction activity before the scheduled hearing.
NEWS
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | March 9, 2013
Times are good these days at the Linde Corp., where despite a sluggish economy nationally, the company is on a hiring binge. The construction company, based near Wilkes-Barre in northeastern Pennsylvania, has seen its workforce nearly triple over the past five years as it switched from helping to build big-box stores to laying miles of natural gas pipelines connecting hundreds of gas wells drilled in the rolling rural terrain here in Susquehanna County....
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By Steve Kilar, The Baltimore Sun | March 8, 2013
Employees who were barred from their offices on the Johns Hopkins at Keswick campus because of water contamination have been granted additional paid leave days, human resources officials said Friday. Employees in the campus' south building, which was closed two days, will get two days of added leave, said Pamela Paulk and Charlene Moore Hayes, executives for Hopkins' health system and university, in an email to employees who work at the North Baltimore office complex. "You will be able to use the two days as you wish," the human resources officials said.
NEWS
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | January 20, 2013
State environmental officials are drilling monitoring wells on the outskirts of Salisbury to get a better handle on ground-water contamination there that has fouled dozens of household wells with a potentially cancer-causing chemical, according to a spokesman. The Maryland Department of the Environment has contracted to install a total of 10 wells in the residential area south of the city to gather more information on the movement and severity of contaminated ground water, said Jay Apperson, the agency's deputy communications director.
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Tim Wheeler | January 18, 2013
A new federal report finds toxic contamination remains widespread in the Chesapeake Bay, with severe impacts in some places, which health and environmental advocates say lends support to their push in Annapolis for legislative action on pesticides and other hazardous chemicals. The 184-page report, recently posted on the website of the Environmental Protection Agency's Chesapeake Bay program , notes that nearly three-fourths of the bay's tidal waters are "fully or partially impaired" by toxic chemicals, with contamination severe enough in some areas that people are warned to limit how many fish they eat from there.  The chemicals tainting fish are mainly mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs.  Once widely used in electrical equipment, PCBs were banned years ago over health concerns, but residues linger and continue to show up in fish tissue.  "They may be coming down - I can't say they're not - but we know they're not coming down quickly," said Greg Allen, an EPA scientist and the lead author of the interagency report, which was produced in cooperation with the U.S. Geological Survey and the Fish and Wildlife Service . Contamination is severe in a handful of "hot spots" around the bay, including Baltimore's harbor, largely a legacy of past industrial and shipping activity.
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