9/13 MDE Update: Television Tower, Inc. (TTI) Candelabra Tower – Lead-based Paint Abatement Work.

MDE’s Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (LPPP) has prepared the following update for the Woodberry Community Association (WCA) meeting regarding Television Tower, Inc. (TTI) Candelabra Tower – Lead-based Paint Abatement Work.

Background

Maryland Department of The Environment (MDE) has responded to an incident involving the removal of lead-based paint from the “TV Hill” candelabra tower by a private contractor, Skyline Tower Painting.  The paint removal caused paint chip fragments to spread off-site into the surrounding community.

On June 21, 2022 MDE received several work practice complaints regarding the paint removal and spread of paint chips into the community.  The Baltimore City Department of Housing and Community Development issued a stop work order for the contractor’s pressure washing operations to remove the lead paint from the tower without the proper permit from Baltimore City. MDE representatives inspected the site on June 22. and confirmed the presence of lead-based paint on the tower and in the paint chips.

On June 23, MDE met with TTI, the owner of the tower, and the painting contractor and notified them that the cleanup or lead-based paint and fragments must occur using an accredited lead paint abatement contractor, employing properly-trained workers. MDE informed TTI and the contractor that lead paint removal work could not continue until the contractor, its supervisors, and workers completed the required Maryland lead abatement training and became accredited.

On June 30, cleanup began. TTI contracted with two accredited contractors to perform the work. Advanced Air Analysis, Inc., an accredited lead paint inspection contractor, is performing the pre-cleanup surveying and post-cleanup clearance inspection. A & I Environmental, an accredited lead paint abatement contractor, is performing the cleanup.

TTI established an email address and telephone number for community members to report paint chips for cleanup. TIT provided this information to the Woodberry Community Association (WCA) and to residents in the affected area through the mail.

Separately, MDE has also provided updates to WCA and attended two public meetings on July 12, 2022 and August 9, 2022.

Status of the Cleanup

To date, high-priority cleanup areas, including a daycare center, adult community center, urban farm, and community playground, are being inspected and cleaned regularly, particularly after rain events. Additionally, the properties of 63 residents who reported lead paint chips have been cleaned. TTI has reported to MDE that A & I Environmental is revisiting sites after the initial cleanup, if needed. A&l Environmental also has crews cleaning streets and alleyways. MDE regularly performs oversight inspections of the cleanup activities and notifies TTI or any paint chips observed during those inspections. MDE will continue to monitor cleanup activities in the community until the cleanup is complete.

On MDE’s request, TTI is providing the Woodberry Community Association (WCA) with access to the community clean up project area map visually indicating the following:

  1. Locations of Direct USPS Mailing

  2. Properties Cleaned and Inspected

  3. Door to Door Flier Delivery

  4. Requests for Inspection by Property

  5. Homeowner Declined Service or Reported No Issue

  6. Street / Gutter / Sidewalk Cleaned and Inspected

MDE has also provided additional contact information for rental property owners in the area to allow for TTI to perform an expanded mailing. On July 21, TTI informed MDE that its contractor would be going door-to-door in the affected area and would leave flyers where there was no contact.

On August 1, 2022 MDE mailed letters to residents and rental property owners in the affected area notifying them of the incident, the status of cleanup efforts, and contact information to report the presence of paint chips. The letters included information about lead generally and measures to reduce exposure to lead in the environment.

On September 2, 2022 TTI reported to MDE that after collaborating with Baltimore City signs have been posted in the Rockrose City Park further alerting individuals of the current community clean up efforts and steps to take in order to report paint chip fragments to TTI.

As of September 9, 2022 TTI has reported to MDE that all properties within the affected area have been canvassed and an additional 562 informational fliers were mailed by TTI in September to the affected community.

MDE continues to encourage residents to report remaining paint chip fragments.  If you observe paint chip fragments on your property, please contact:

Television Tower, Inc.

televisiontowerinc@gmail.com

(410) 578-7551

MDE has referred the case to the Attorney General for further consideration of appropriate enforcement and compliance action.

Information About Lead

MDE is the lead state agency responsible for preventing childhood lead poisoning, and the Baltimore City Health Department (BCHD) works to prevent childhood lead poisoning and assist families affected by lead poisoning in Baltimore City. Since Maryland’s lead law was enacted in 1994, the number of childhood lead poisoning cases in the slate has decreased by 98%. MDE and BCHD arc advising you of this matter out of an abundance or caution.

The following are some measures to reduce lead exposure for children under the age of six and pregnant women:

  • Consider having your child under age 6 tested for lead. In fact, all children in Maryland should be tested for lead at 1 and 2 years. Talk to your doctor for more information.

  • Increase hand washing.

  • Keep shoes outside of the home.

  • Mop and wet wipe, and if a mop is unavailable, use a damp broom to clean.

  • Wash stuffed animals and wipe down non-fabric toys frequently.

  • Wipe: down pets who have: been outdoors.

  • Eat a healthy diet composed of foods that are high in Vitamin C. Calcium. and Iron.

BCHD and the Maryland Department of Health will work with MDE’ s Childhood Lead Registry to follow the blood lead levels or children tested for lead who are living in the Woodberry neighborhood in order to see whether there is any change in the population lead levels. Due to the fact that the Childhood Lead Registry receives lead test results directly from laboratories and doctors’ offices, you do not need to contact MDE if your child is tested for lead.

If you have additional questions, please contact Kevin Stanley al 410-537-3825 or kevins.stanley@maryland.gov.

TTI Tower Work Update

Yesterday the WCA was notified that the State of Maryland and the City of Baltimore have given their approval for Skyline Tower Painting to perform two limited but necessary cleanup steps on the tower starting Tuesday, September 6thth.  The first step is for the crew to HEPA vacuum any free paint chips resting on the horizontal surfaces of the tower that may be there as a result of the previously suspended prep work.  This step is a multi-day process and will likely continue throughout most of next week, weather permitting.  The second action item is for Skyline to de-rig the tower, meaning the removal of all of their hoisting cables that allows them to safely climb the tower.  The de-rigging process may also take a couple of days. We have informed the Maryland Department of the Environment of our plan and they will likely be on site to inspect the work.  A&I Inc will also be present near the tower to remove any paint flakes that may fall from the tower during this process.

Rockrose Farm Soil Test Results

TTI conducted an investigation into the potential presence of lead in the soil.  The results of the investigation are being provided to the Maryland Department of the Environment.

Multiple soil samples were collected from the Rockrose City Farm.  All samples were found to be below the Maryland Department of the Environment’s approved levels for lead in residential soil, and lead was undetectable in the majority of samples.

 

22473 Rockrose City Farm Soil Testing Report

July 20, 2022 Update on Television Tower Paint Chips

From Maryland Department of the Envrionment shared the latest clean up/activity update that we rec’d from TTI:
  • Soil Testing:  The Rockrose Community Farm soil testing is happening today.  Soil tests were previously performed at the Scribbles Day Care Center.  (These are the only two areas tested at this time)
  • To date there are 35 residents who have requested clean up of their properties, and all have been addressed, or are in process.  TTI has communicated that if the residents see additional paint chips to contact TTI and the property will be re-cleaned.  The 35 residents were obtained via TTI’s Outreach to the Community Association.  TTI email and phone number were provided to the community association.  And, the two site contractor supervisors were given cards to distribute to the community if anyone sees the crews working and would like their properties cleaned, or had questions.
  • The following process is the method that properties are cleaned up:    The Inspection Contractor, Advanced Air Analysis, Inc., is pre-surveying the property  under clean up; the lead abatement clean up contractor, A & I Environmental,  cleans the property to remove lead paint chips; the inspection contractor returns and performs a post- clean up inspection for the exterior of the property, and if interior clean up is performed, the inspection contractor performs dust clearance sampling, where required. TTI  (via Rick Seaby) follows up with the property owner to let the owners know the areas are clean, and advises the owners that if they encounter additional issues,  to contact him (Rick).
  • High priority areas such as the Scribbles Day Care Center, the Itineris Adult Community Center, the Rockrose Farm area, and the Community Playground are being inspected and cleaned daily and especially after  weather events, such as rain etc.
  • The abatement clean up contractor (A&I), has crews cleaning up the streets and alleyways, when not working on an individual property.
  • TTI had just performed additional outreach to the greater community by sending out a mass mailing to a couple hundred local residents who are not part of the community association, to notify them to contact TTI if their properties need to be cleaned up.  MDE recently provided a list of rental property addresses, with owner address information included so that TTI may expand their outreach to citizens in the affected area.
  • A TCLP (Toxicity Characteristic Leaching  Procedure) sample of the waste stream generated from cleanup, and required by MDE Solid Waste Program,  was collected and sent off to the lab for analysis, on Friday, July 15, 2022, and the results are expected today or tomorrow.

MDE also shared  these three pamphlets Lead Poisoning Know_the_Facts 5 Things to Do In Lowering Child’s Blood Lead Level WIC Lead Poisoning Handout (2) (1)