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Harbor Point environmental plan expected by early October

Harbor PointEngineers from Beatty Development Group LLC said they expect to obtain detailed environmental plans by early October that would allow the drilling of about 1,000 pylons through a protective cap covering toxic chromium on the city’s waterfront at Harbor Point.

Jeff Boggs, an engineer with Environmental Resources Management, the local engineering group hired by Harbor Point developer Michael Beatty to shepherd the drilling plans through the protective cap, said Wednesday that a detailed design plan being negotiated with the Maryland Department of the Environment and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has an Oct. 9 deadline for resolution.

The plan has raised controversy in the $1 billion development that will hold a 23-story local headquarters tower for Exelon that Boggs said is expected to break ground in December — if the plan is approved. He said a community meeting could be held to discuss and outline the details of the plan but that none had been scheduled.

The Harbor Point project was awarded up to $125 million in tax incentives this week by the City Council after much debate and controversy this summer in hearings at City Hall. The tax increment financing, or TIF bonds, would be sold to private investors and would help pay for infrastructure, parks and a new bridge at the 27-acre site located between Harbor East and Fells Point. The investors would be repaid over a 34-year period with increased property taxes that are diverted from the city’s general fund.

About 100 people turned out to an open house Wednesday evening at Harbor Point to view plans for the new development, including certain details about the drilling through the protective cap, established in 1999 during a $100 million cleanup of the site by its new owner Honeywell.

Honeywell is in the process of selling the site to Beatty for an undisclosed price.