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Tradepoint Atlantic plan: make room for larger ships, put dredge on Hart-Miller Island

Posted on April 8, 2024

Baltimore is only just beginning to see the strain of the Key Bridge collapse on the local economy.

In the years down the line, a redevelopment plan by Tradepoint Atlantic and Terminal Investment Limited would dig beneath Sparrows Point water to take in larger ships and more forms of cargo. To accept those larger vessels, the channel would need to be 50 feet.

Tradepoint Atlantic currently has a 42-foot channel.

Developers could put the material the project dredges on Hart-Miller Island, off the coast of east Baltimore County.

The project, named Sparrows Point Container Terminal, has been in the works for a while, but after the Key Bridge collapse, developers sought to speed up the process.

Developers say putting the dredge material at an existing facility like Hart-Miller Island would reduce the project’s timeline from 2028 to 2026.

“I think it’s a doubling down on the growth and future success of the port of Baltimore,” said Aaron Tomarchio, executive VP of corporate affairs for Tradepoint Atlantic.

Tomarchio presented to a roundtable of community stakeholders—the Essex-Middle River Civic Council—at Our Lady of Mount Carmel School in Essex on Wednesday night; he said the plan would bring more than a thousand new longshoremen jobs and six thousand more affiliated with the port.

“If we could advance it a little bit more, in time, that could send a very strong message to the global shipping community that Baltimore is going to come back, come back bigger, come back better and more resilient,” Tomarchio told WMAR.

State lawmakers would need to approve the start of a ‘public process’ with the community and regulators, with multiple conditions, including a community benefit agreement, by the end of 2024.

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“This was something we’ve only been considering for a few weeks; I think we have to give it careful condition. But I’m very optimistic that that dialogue will lend itself to a really creative solution,” said Paul Brylske, chair of the Hart-Miller Pleasure Island Citizens Oversight Committee.

Questioned on environmental impacts, Tomarchio answered, “In order to place material from the harbor, it has to go through extensive environmental testing and an extensive environmental permitting process. So that process will be part of the decision on whether or not this material can even be placed at Hart-Miller.”

The legislative session is scheduled to end at the beginning of next week.


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