Maryland Completes Removal of Tropical Storm
Isabel Contaminated Soil
State-Federal partnership cleaned
up 600 tons of oil damage on 170 properties
ANNAPOLIS, MD (August 2, 2004) – Home
heating oil that contaminated 170 properties along the
Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries in the wake of Tropical
Storm Isabel has been cleaned up under a unique state-federal
partnership, Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. announced today.
The $2.25 million project removed 600 tons of
oil-contaminated soil in eight counties. The oil, spilled when
the storm surge from Isabel toppled heating oil tanks, had the
potential to contaminate groundwater and pose health risks to
residents who rely on well water for drinking.
“The partnership between Maryland and federal emergency
officials is a model for cooperation between the states and
Washington ,” Governor Ehrlich said. “ By working together and
combining our resources, we are helping these Maryland
families rebuild their homes, properties, and lives.”
Removal of the contaminated soil and replacement with clean
soil was done at no cost to homeowners. The Federal Emergency
Management Agency (FEMA) paid 75 percent of the cost; Maryland
’s share of the cost was $562,500.
The cleanup was coordinated by the Maryland Department of
the Environment (MDE) and carried out by the Department of
General Services (DGS). The Department of Planning had overall
responsibility for Maryland ’s response to Isabel.
“The cooperation of FEMA, State and local governments, the
consultants and contractors and our citizens was absolutely
essential in addressing this threat to public health and our
environment,” said Maryland Department of Planning Secretary
Audrey E. Scott, who has coordinated the State's response to
Hurricane Isabel. “Because of that cooperation, this clean up
was a tremendous achievement. We also applaud MDE and DGS for
working hand-in-hand to make this project such a huge
Isabel's high winds and storm surge dislodged hundreds of
home heating oil tanks, spilling thousands of gallons of oil
and leaving thousands of additional gallons inside the
dislodged tanks. MDE and the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency pumped more than 50,000 gallons of fuel oil from tanks.
Before the clean up could begin, MDE obtained legal
permission to enter homeowners' properties to assess the
extent of contamination. DGS then utilized the expertise of
five geotechnical consulting firms to survey the sites and
collect and test soil samples from the properties to determine
the extent of contamination and the amount of soil needed to
Next, DGS coordinated with 12 contractors to remove the
soil and replace it with clean fill dirt, then restoration of
the sites with topsoil, grass seed and straw mulch. DGS also
coordinated to have the contaminated soil hauled to
appropriate sites for safe and proper disposal.
“Critical to the success of this project was our strong
proactive response,” said DGS Secretary Boyd K. Rutherford.
“By coordinating the efforts of geotechnical experts and
contractors, we effectively accessed and managed the
remediation effort, removing tons of contaminated soil that
could have resulted in a health threat to many residents along
the shores of the Chesapeake Bay .”
Contaminated soil operations took place in the counties
listed in the chart below.