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Curtis Bay Depot

710 Ordnance Road,
Baltimore, MD 21226-1786

Curtis Bay Depot, beside the Chesapeake Bay, covers 493 acres. Its 10 acres of wetlands, deer population and occasional eagle and osprey fly-overs make it an environmentally rich site.

The 97th Army Reserve's 949th Transportation Company is based in Curtis Bay, Md. Taining normally means towing barges. However, in war they would tow ocean-going ships and salvage damaged vessels.

Beginning in the late 1950's, the General Services Administration stored thorium nitrate in fiber and steel drums at the Curtis Bay Depot, under license first from the Atomic Energy Commission and later from the NRC, as part of the National Defense Stockpile. In 1988 National Defense Stockpile responsibility was transferred to the Defense Logistics Agency.

Surveys by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education in 1992 indicated that the former warehouses and soil contained residual amounts of thorium, a radioactive material, in excess of NRC's limits for unrestricted use of the property. Defense Logistics began cleaning up the site in mid-1994, completing the work the following year. Radiation surveys by Defense Logistics--as well as confirmatory surveys by NRC, the Maryland Department of the Environment and Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education--show that remediation work was successful. DNSC completed cleanup of a future recreation site at Curtis Bay in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. The county was notified by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that the Ordnance Road Property south of Baltimore, next to the new county jail, is now safe to use. DNSC worked with local and state officials for 2 years to clean up radioactive residue from thorium nitrate that had been stored in buildings on the site until 1981. This cleanup was accomplished before the property was sold to the county. The county now has plans to build a $4.5-million, 47-acre recreational complex on the site.

Doing its share to carry out the Clean Water Action Plan and to enhance watershed management, the Defense Logistics Agency became a signatory of the Federal Agencies' Chesapeake Bay Ecosystem Unified Plan in November 1998. The new plan updates the 1994 agreement, which DLA also signed. The updated plan emphasizes stronger partnership with the states, greater federal stewardship, and increased support of the President's Clean Water Action Plan. DLA has three installations in the Bay watershed: the Defense Supply Center Richmond; the distribution depot in Susquehanna, Pa.; and the Defense National Stockpile Center's Curtis Bay, Md., depot. As part of the watershed cleanup effort, the agency planted 200 trees at DNSC's Curtis Bay Depot in 1998.

Between 1997 and 1998 Curtis Bay Depot, Maryland, sponsored the planting of two hundred seedlings of native species of pine trees. In addition, the depot has designated several large unused areas for natural restoration, allowing growth and succession of native plants. To promote the return to a "natural state" application of herbicides and mowing activities have been eliminated. Planning is currently underway to plant both native seedling trees and wildflowers in areas where several buildings are to be demolished. This ongoing and future work will restore the natural habitat and protect wildlife in the area. As the trees and native plants mature they will serve as a buffer to the adjoining industrial area and the surrounding watershed, ultimately protecting the environmental quality of the stream corridors to the Chesapeake Bay.

The Defense National Stockpile is managed by the U.S. Department of Defense, with day-to-day operations being guided by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA). In 1998, the DLA sold 12,183 tons of pig tin from the stockpile. Of this total, 10,313 tons represented long-term sales contracts to RMT Corp. and Considar, Inc. (both of New York, NY). The DLA continued its monthly spot tin sales program under the same format as in recent years, with sales being held on the first Wednesday. The following depots held the largest inventories of tin, in descending order: Hammond, IN; Anniston, AL; Point Pleasant, WV; and Baton Rouge, LA. At 1998 yearend, 83,607 tons of tin remained in the NDS. The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) 1999 tin sales program emphasized its long-term activity and had only a modest spot sales effort. DLA allocated 2,000 tons of tin to sell on the spot market at monthly sales. Two long-term sales were again conducted, one in the spring, another in the fall. DLA announced that its Annual Materials Plan for fiscal year 1999 called for sales of up to 12,000 tons of stockpile tin. Stockpile tin is warehoused at six depots, with the largest holdings at Hammond, IN, and Baton Rouge, LA. The Stockton, CA, depot was closed.


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