|Bear Creek MD|
The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing making the contaminated Bear Creek in the Dundalk area a Superfund site.
High levels of benzene, chromium, lead, naphthalene, benzo(a)pyrene and zinc have been found in the area's groundwater and sediment, thanks to contamination from Bethlehem Steel Corporation's 126-year dominance of Sparrows Point, according to information from EPA and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
The EPA wants to add at least 60 acres of Bear Creek to the Superfund National Priorities List. The public can comment on the proposal between Sept. 9 and Nov. 8 by clicking here.
The state of Maryland wrote to EPA on May 18 to encourage putting Bear Creek on the Superfund list, according to the EPA website.
Chesapeake Bay Foundation noted that area residents have traditionally used the creek for boating, crabbing and fishing. The state has issued a warning not to eat 10 species of fish, as well as blue crab, caught in the Patapsco River-Baltimore Harbor watershed due to the presence of PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls).
A map to show the relationship of Bear Creek to Baltimore and Baltimore Harbor.
I spent a day sampling in Bear Creek once, many years ago. For Baltimore, it's relatively attractive. Too bad it's so heavily contaminated from decades of metal work at Sparrows Point