Suspicious powder was found this morning at a processing center of the U.S. Census Bureau in Essex, though it was found to be harmless.
The Baltimore County police and fire departments were called around 10 a.m. to the U.S. Census Bureau's Data Capture Center, in the 8400 block of Kelso Drive, to examine a package containing a small amount of powder, said Elise Armacost, the fire department spokeswoman.
"We did not evacuate the building, no one was showing symptoms, there were no transports," Armacost said. "People were removed from the immediate vicinity while we were testing."
The substance was deemed non-threatening, Armacost said.
The plant -- which processes 2010 Census questionnaires as they are returned -- resumed operations by early afternoon, said Markia McLeod, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Census Bureau.
McLeod said that Baltimore County Hazmat teams have responded to the Essex facility for six incidents since it opened last year. The last time was in March, when powder found inside a census envelope turned out to be coffee creamer.
-- Erica L. Green