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Bladensburg Concrete Batching Plant

The Mayor and Town Council held a special meeting, Monday, June 19 at 7:30 pm to learn more about the application for a special exception for a concrete batching plant being developed on the current concrete block plant owned and operated by Ernest Maier.  Presenting were, Brendan Quinn, owner of Ernest Maier, Debbie Scanlon the Town Administrator for the city of Bladensburg, and Chris Melendez, the Vice President for the Port Town Community Development Corporation.  (Please note that all comments herein are written down to the best of my memory and I apologize for any errors or incomplete information)

The meeting was scheduled in order to decide whether or not the Town of Cheverly should send a letter to  Parks & Planning prior to the scheduled June 23 hearing.  However, the impression is that the meeting may be cancelled and the issue sent directly onto the Zoning Board.

Brendan Quin presented his proposal that his company which currently owns 16 acres of land around Bladensburg and works out of 4 separate sites.
Ernest Maier:

  • employs 147 individuals in Bladensburg, 40 of which come from the Port Towns and of that 21 are residents of Bladensburg.  The proposal would add about 25 jobs.  These jobs pay on average $55,000 a year.  
  • Operates 20 hours a day 
  • The site currently see about 120 trucks a day and that will increase by 40 after the modernization of the plant
  • Mr. Quinn stated that his current plant is from the 1960s and does not have the most recent environmental protections.  He has been working with neighbors and town leadership to negotiate a way to mitigate the impact of the increased traffic.  
  • In addition to improved water reusing and cleaning practices, the store front and fencing will also be updated.  
  • This plan is projected to cost 2.5-3 million and take about 9 months to complete and 3 years to pay off.
  • Currently working with OSHA on the air silica and conducting an air quality assessment.
  • Plans to improve greening of the concrete process.
  • Wants to also look into manufacturing higher end concrete projects.
Chris Melendez from the Port Towns CDC stated that they have been collecting documents on this process that are located at http://www.citizensactioncommitteebladensburg.org/home 
  • Still gathering info and have no conclusion as of yet.
  • The Community has concerns about the health and safety impact and would like for a health impact study to be completed.
  • They have been working with the University of Maryland and have been told that it could be a good idea to get a baseline assessment of the health impact.
  • There was a pedestrian fatality in the direct area in front of the plant in June.
  • The plant is close to schools and the Bladensburg library.
  • Concerns with whether or not some of the properties are brownfield sites and what contaminants may already be in the ground.
  • Some Brownfield sites may be capped for new businesses to come on top (ex. Community Forklift)
  • The town supported 3-2 the two opposed represent the district that the plant is located in.
  • Additionally, Prince George's County just declared the Edmonston, Bladensburg area as an Eco District.

Debbie Sanlon the Town Administrator for the Town of Bladensburg spoke for the Bladensburg Mayor.
  • The Greater Bladensburg plan includes maintaining the Industrial I2 zoning use into the future and 897 people are employed in the entire Industrial Park
  • If the special exemption is not passed then the plant will continue as is and the environmental improvements may not happen.
  • Council members Ivey & Eldridge's comments about how valuable that land is and hoping to see it transition away from industrial use.   Ms. Sanlon stated that it is unknown at this time what type of toxins and chemicals are in the land currently occupied by the industrial park (as a whole, not just Ernest Maier) and that the land may need some fixing before new commerce comes in and that may limit the amount of tax dollars brought into the community. (This point was countered by Ms. Melendez)
Councilman Ivey motioned to vote to officially oppose the special exemption to build the plant.  I did not second his motion at this time since I would like a little more information and the information from the air pollution study and to wait until we can comment to the Zoning Hearing Board since that seems like the next opportunity to participate in this process.

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