Town Utilities Manager Still Concerned With Hospital Oil Remediation


At Monday’s town council meeting, Chestertown Utilities Manager Robert Sipes expressed his continued concern with the ongoing oil remediation process at the Shore Health Chestertown Hospital site.

He reiterated that point today with the Spy.

Sipes says that he’s concerned that testing being done during the remediation process is more “targeted” than extensive, and is worried the site, as a whole, is not under the same kind of scrutiny as the target wells.

“I’m still of the opinion that this is not a well-conceived remediation plan and I question whether or not it is designed to clean the whole area, rather than  just around the target wells,” he says.

Sipes said he was also worried that testing does not include looking for traces of gas range organics (GROs), caused by the degradation of petroleum.

“We have had GROs detected in the past, and I’m wondering why it’s not being looked at during this process,” he said.

The utilities manager was quick to add that while the remediation process continues., the town is doing accelerated testing of the municipal water supply.

“So far, the water is fine, but we will get the word out instantly if there is any change in the water quality, even if it’s not dangerous,” he said.

The Town also has a meeting scheduled with Maryland Department of Environment (MDE) Secretary Ben Grumbles to determine whether or not financial assurance consent order can be made if contamination occurs

There is concern that 80,000 gallons of heating oil could still be underground from the 1982 heating oil leak.

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