Former Ainsworth Paint Factory Environmental Site Assessment

Baltimore, Maryland

The Baltimore Development Corporation retained KCI to perform Phase I and II Environmental Site Assessments (ESA) of the former Ainsworth Paint Factory. The facility contains two multi-story buildings formerly used in the manufacturing of paint and paint-related products and sits on approximately two acres of real property. The “main building” is the larger of the two structures consisting of concrete block and brick walls and a built up asphalt roof. Interior finishing materials include floor tiles, carpeting, plaster walls and ceilings, drywall walls, ceiling tiles, door and door systems, and windows and window systems. The second structure, the Lacquer Building, consists of a three-story establishment with a slab-on-grade foundation, concrete block and brick walls, and built up asphalt roof. The scope of the Phase I ESA included:

  • Walking visual reconnaissance of the subject site
  • Search for conditions indicative of environmental problems
  • Review of the history of the site, including historic aerial photographs, historic topographic maps, historic Sanborn fire insurance maps, and a review of regulatory files at the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) offices
  • Interviews with the current and historic owners of the subject site
  • Review of environmental regulatory databases.

Our team also inspected the abandoned onsite paint factory buildings to identify the presence of hazardous and non-hazardous wastes. Upon completion of the Phase I ESA KCI completed an assessment of historical and potential environmental impacts, and prepared a Phase I ESA Report describing the findings from the assessment.

KCI’s Phase I ESA identified numerous recognized environmental conditions and other environmental concerns related to the past operations at the subject site. These included: the presence of several underground storage tanks which had not been actively managed for decades; the presence of above-grade and below-grade product pipelines that could potentially still contain solvents and other paint manufacturing chemicals; extensive areas of damaged friable suspected Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) throughout the buildings; and records from old EPA reports indicating the presence of PCBs and heavy metals in settled dust within the buildings. To further evaluate these issues and concerns, and to facilitate the subject site’s entry into the Maryland Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP), KCI developed a Phase II ESA Work Plan and a site-specific Sampling and Analysis Plan (SAP) in accordance with the Baltimore City’s Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP), and submitted these to the USEPA Region III and MDE for review and approval.

Our team developed the Phase II ESA Work Plan in accordance with the ASTM E 1903-97 (2002) standard guide (G), MDE VCP guidelines, and USEPA grant-funded brownfield assessment requirements. KCI also prepared and implemented a Site Specific Health and Safety Plan (HASP) in accordance with OSHA regulations and EPA and MDE requests. The HASP documented the chemical, physical, biological hazards at the site, and provided detailed procedures and descriptions of protective measures and equipment to be used at the property. The scope of the Phase II ESA included:

  • Surface and subsurface soil, groundwater, and dust sampling and analysis
  • Sub-slab vapor sampling
  • Geophysical surveys to locate undocumented USTs
  • Test pits to investigate geophysical anomalies identified during the geophysical survey

Scientists also completed surveys for lead paint and asbestos throughout the on-site factory buildings. Samples of soil, groundwater, settled dust, and sub-slab vapor were submitted to a fixed laboratory for chemical analysis via standard EPA methods. KCI also submitted bulk samples of suspected asbestos-containing building materials to the laboratory for asbestos analysis, and conducted screening for the presence of lead-based paint using an X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) analyzer. Our team provided a scientific interpretation of the data and developed a report.

The Phase II ESA identified numerous environmental issues associated with the site including the onsite presence of multiple underground storage tanks; petroleum and organic solvent contamination of soils and groundwater; heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) contamination in soils and groundwater; and asbestos containing materials (ACM) and lead-based paint (LBP) associated with the onsite buildings. Finally, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were detected in sub-slab gas samples, and elevated levels of heavy metals and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were identified in settled dust samples acquired from within the onsite buildings.

KCI used the data from the Phase I and Phase II ESAs to develop a Response Action Plan under the Maryland VCP, targeting the removal of the existing structures and cleanup of the property. Our team also developed building demolition plans and specifications in support of the city’s desire to demolish the onsite buildings. During the process of regulatory review, KCI assisted the Baltimore Development Corporation by presenting findings and answering questions at neighborhood stakeholder meetings. Scientists remained on site to document the demolition of the structures and coordinate with MDE representatives.