Harbor Point site proposed for redevelopment

Offices and condominiums proposed where toxic chromium once was processed - and remains underground, mostly entombed beneath a thick "cap" of clean soil, plastic and gravel. (Kim Hairston, 2013 / November 14, 2013)

State and federal environmental regulators approved design plans for the Harbor Point project Thursday, allowing Beatty Development Group LLC to begin preparation work at the former factory site, a state spokesman said.

More approvals are required before construction may commence.

The plans call for workers to temporarily expose contaminated soil while they install pilings for a 22-story tower that will become Exelon Corp's regional headquarters. The soil and groundwater contain cancer-causing hexavalent chromium dating to the site's use as a processing plant.

Before Beatty Development can actually expose the toxic materials, regulators must sign off on final plans to monitor the air during work, said Jay Apperson, a spokesman for the Maryland Department of the Environment.

The developer must also submit new readings of the pre-construction air quality. Beatty Development has not yet submitted the air monitoring plan, Apperson said.

The group had hoped to break ground in mid-October, but the government shutdown and changes ordered by regulators have delayed the project.