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.