Last Wednesday, Tradepoint Atlantic (TPA) hosted an event to celebrate and acknowledge the environmental remediation of the tin mill canal.
“We’re here to discuss the tin mill canal and the environmental commitment that has been made,” TPA senior vice president Aaron Tomarchio explained, “It took an entire partnership, including federal, state and local officials, to make this a reality.”
According to TPA’s executive vice president of development, Eric Gilbert, TPA officials have redeveloped 500 acres of the 3,250 acre land, successfully invested nearly one billion dollars, along with other tenants and brought back over 2,000 jobs.
“A large part of the success is due to the efforts made by MDE (Maryland Development of Environment) and EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) employees,” Gilbert said.
“Their efforts and unified approach to clean-up the site has given confidence to plenty of blue chip companies and employers to come back to Sparrows Point,” he noted.
There is still a lot of work that needs to be completed, according to Gilbert.
“However, we are confident that in a few years we’ll be able to sit here and hopefully achieve a one hundred percent clean site,” Gilbert said.
“This is a turning point,” TPA’s senior environmental director Pete Haid said.
According to Haid, when the Sparrows Point site was purchased in September of 2014, TPA officials made a commitment to the federal government, to the state, EPA, MDE and community members that they would clean-up and revitalize Sparrows Point, including the port operations.
“We’ve made great progress on all commitments,” he noted.
There is still work that needs to be complete, Haid explained, and the tin mill canal is a crucial component to the overall clean-up of Sparrows Point.
Over the years, the mile-and-half long canal has received billions of gallons of storm, processed and waste water that TPA is cleaning up, according to Haid.
With 55 percent of the canal clean-up complete, TPA is estimating the canal will be officially clean by early 2019, according to Haid.
The EPA put together a team of environmental professionals that oversaw and directed the clean-up of Sparrows Point, Haid noted.
The EPA’s top priority is accelerating the return of, once contaminated sites, to productive reuse, EPA deputy administrator, Cecil Rodriguez said.
“The transformation of Sparrows Point is remarkable; We’re here to celebrate the clean-up of the tin mill canal,” Rodriguez said.
“The canal shows progress,” he noted.
According to Lt. Gov., Boyd Rutherford, TPA is creating a hub for industry and economic development in Baltimore County.
“The water is much cleaner, I even saw life down there,” Rutherford said.
The clean-up of the tin mill canal will help with MDE officials meet their overall 2025 Chesapeake Bay clean-up goal, according to MDE’s secretary of environment, Benjamin Grumbles.
Baltimore County Executive Don Mohler brought up Baltimore County Councilman Todd Crandell and the District Six state legislators to acknowledge the team effort made to clean-up the tin mill canal.
“Others would have walked away,” Mohler explained, “but TPA said they’d get it done and they’ve met every goal they have laid on the table.”
At the exact location where the event was held, there will be an area where retail shops will be placed for the convenience of local residents, according to Pete Haid.
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