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68th Street Landfill Plans, Back River Cleanup, New Team in Town

Columnist Anna Renault offers a view of the latest news around town.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is continuing to keep the public involved as it develops cleanup and redevelopment plans for the  68th Street Landfill in Rosedale. 

The project’s team held an information session at the Rosedale Library on May 23.  Local residents were invited to review property charts, reuse proposals, identified environmental impact statements and general cleanup needs of the landfill and surrounding waterways. 

Throughout the presentations, project staff and partners were on hand to answer questions and provide details of each facet of the cleanup process. Public hearings are planned for the end of the summer/early fall. A finalized plan will be compiled and submitted to the EPA executive staff for approval.

The 68th Street Dump Site, listed on the EPA's Superfund list of the country's most polluted sites, consists of approximately 239 acres of undeveloped land. The site has been divided into five management areas for planning purposes. Portions of each management areas were once used as landfills for the disposal of primarily municipal, industrial and commercial refuse between the 1940s and 1970s.

The site has remained undeveloped and unused except for random dumping of surface debris by unauthorized trespassers since the landfills were closed before or in the early 1970s. Trespassers currently use the site for recreational purposes.

Christopher Corbett, the senior project manager for the EPA's Hazardous Site Cleanup Division, is directing the 68th Street Landfill Project. For specific details of the project’s evaluations to date, contact Corbett at Corbett.chris@epa.gov or call 215-814-3220.

“It is good to see such enthusiasm from those here," he said. "It will be helpful if the neighborhoods are aware of the project prior to the public hearings and to have some understanding of the impact this cleanup will have on their communities.”

Back River Restoration Committee

Mark your calendar to gather at the Back River Waste Water Treatment Plant on Saturday, June 11. 

Volunteers will head to the treatment plant's beaches and coves and points along Island Point Road, beginning at 8 a.m. This will be another effort of the Back River Restoration Committee (BRRC), local residents and businesses in the fight to clean up Back River.

Volunteers are reminded to wear appropriate clothing and boots, and be prepared to get wet. Anyone who can bring shovels, rakes, and other hand tools are asked to do so. Small equipment, such as bobcats, will also be needed. 

Students are reminded that service learning hours are available for participation in the BRRC cleanup activities.

Bay Area Shuckers Fans

Local fans of the former indoor football team the Baltimore Mariners are migrating to support the Bay Area Shuckers, a new professional basketball team in the area. 

The team will be part of the 14-team Atlantic Coast Professional Basketball League. The ACPBL is in its second season and has teams stretching from Virginia in the south to Connecticut in the north, including clubs in Norfolk, VA; Northern Virginia; Newark, NJ; Long Island, NY; Buffalo, NY, and Hartford, CT.

Part of the ownership team includes Middle River resident Paul Clary, who was recently the "9th Man" coordinator for the Mariners.

The ACPBL is scheduled to tip off its second season the weekend of Dec. 3. The championship game is slated for April 1, 2012. The Shuckers will play a 14-game schedule, including seven at home. The team will announce its venue in the upcoming weeks.

The team has made a commitment to the Chesapeake Bay as well as the entire Bay Area. To show their support, the Bay Area Shuckers front office and the staff of Tall Oaks Restaurant took part in an oyster setting process at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Oyster Restoration Center in Shady Side. 

“When forming this [basketball] team we knew that our priority would have to be community efforts. We chose our team name to reflect that commitment; a commitment to the Bay and the people it serves,” said, Clary, who is also the Shuckers’ director of community relations. Those interested in more details on the event or the team can contact Clary at Paul.clary@BayAreaShuckers.com or visit the team's website, bayareashuckers.com.

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