Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

Superfund Site:

BELTSVILLE AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH CENTER (USDA)
BELTSVILLE, MD

Cleanup Activities

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Background

The 6,500-acre Beltsville Agricultural Research Center site is located in Prince George’s County, Maryland. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has owned and operated the area as a research park for soil, water, air, plant and animal sciences since 1910. Waste disposal activities at several former landfills and other disposal areas contaminated soil, groundwater and surface water with hazardous chemicals. Cleanup of some site areas is complete; remedial investigations and feasibility studies are underway at several other site areas.

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What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?

The site is being addressed through state and federal actions.

Cleanup has included several removal actions, or short-term cleanups, to address immediate threats to human health and the environment. Removal actions between 1993 and 2011 included the off-site disposal of 70,000 tons of waste from an on-site landfill, and the cleanup of PCB and pesticide-contaminated soils. Several other sites are under investigation and may be subject to further removal actions.

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What Is the Current Site Status?

In 1998, EPA and USDA entered into a federal facilities agreement (FFA) that established the framework for response actions at the facility. The site’s long-term remedy included removing wastes from the former landfill areas and disposing of the waste in an off-site facility; containing and neutralizing contaminated groundwater with a bio-wall of impervious clay material; and monitoring groundwater. Construction of the remedy began in 2013. EPA conducts Five-Year Reviews of the site’s remedy. These reviews ensure that the remedies put in place protect public health and the environment, and function as intended by site decision documents. The first Five-Year Review is schedued for late 2018.

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