Monday, January 15, 2018

Ourisman acquires Bethesda industrial site

An Ourisman entity, S.J. Ourisman, LLC, has acquired an industrial property off of River Road in Bethesda. 5420 Butler Road is directly across from an existing Ourisman Volkswagen service facility. The site is currently occupied by an industrial building that was converted into a sports training center about a decade ago. Ourisman paid a whopping $7,700,000 for the site, according to Maryland real estate records.

Longtime readers will recall that this property is the one through which I discovered an underground fuel spill eleven years ago, which had been covered up by Montgomery County and the State of Maryland. The previous property owner had received clearance to operate the sports facility from the Maryland Department of the Environment, under the provision that they would not disturb the soil or utilize the contaminated groundwater under the building.

Since the fuel contained MTBE, an additive that moves far and fast through soil, and has contaminated water supplies nationwide, part of my investigation involved the MDE's handling of the secret spill. MDE documents state no cleanup action being taken at 5420, but the department refused to confirm or deny that when pressed repeatedly by me in 2007 and 2008. MDE also refused to say if it had investigated any of the adjacent properties for evidence of the "free product" that soil samples at 5420 revealed. That "free product" was found to contain elevated amounts of methyl-t-butyl-ether (MTBE), diesel range total petroleum hydrocarbons, tetrachloroethene (PCE), and naphthalene. 

All very healthy stuff, right? MDE thought so, apparently, because they could provide no evidence of any further investigation on their part to find out how far this material had gone on adjoining properties.

Fast forward three years after MDE's stonewalling to 2011, when my investigation was completely vindicated during the Little Falls Place scandal. Soil tests on the Hoyt/BETCO plant property confirmed what I had warned about years earlier - MTBE had indeed leached downhill to the BETCO site. Clearly, it also wound up going into the Willett Branch and Little Falls watershed, if you know anything about how MTBE moves once it is free in soil.

The Montgomery County Council, National Capital Planning Commission, and Montgomery County Planning Board all shared MDE's nonchalant attitude about these contaminants. All voted to approve the Little Falls Place townhome development on the BETCO site, following soil remediation.

Assuming an automotive use for the 5420 Butler site after this transaction, they will probably receive a "no further requirements" determination from MDE, as the previous tenant did.


Anna said...

This fascinates me, the idea that someone would post a blog accessible to the whole wide world and then get upset that the public might be reading and replying to it.

Peculiar indeed.

Anonymous said...

This is all Riemer's fault!

Anna said...

RIP Dolores O'Riordan.

"In your head, in your head
Zombie, zombie, zombie
Hey, hey
What's in your head, in your head
Zombie, zombie, zombie
Hey, hey, hey, oh"

Anonymous said...

Robert can you please block these comments that add no value? I really enjoy your ste to ring out just what we s going on in Bethesda without having to go to mainstream media.

Anonymous said...

Who is this Anna who consistently writes rude comments? She must be a lonely, bored person if her goal in life is to mock the writer of this blog. It's unfortunate that individuals can't be blocked from this blog or commenting. She ruins the blog for everyone.

Anonymous said...

Robert, was this related to the long-ago fuel discharge and fire in the creek in like 1957, or was this a much more recent spill?

Anonymous said...

Almost every gas station in the US has leaked or spilled gasoline and or diesel. And gasoline has contained MTBE. So this contamination has most likely come from the gas stations up on River Road.

Anna said...

Is this how you marginalize women who speak up? Interesting.”

Anna said...

Who is this Anonymous fool who so readily relinquishes their integrity by attacking someone who tries to hold Dyer accountable for his exaggerations, distractions, and silly opinions.
Why does Dyer delete her comments and send his aliases and minions out to attack her?
More importantly, what is he afraid of?

Tim said...

Agreed. The rude and crude comments, posted as "Anna" including using curse words and now threatening Dyer with "karma" is unwelcome and creepy.

Email Dyer direct if you have issues. The trolls never do because they wish to remain anonymous bomb throwers.

Anna said...

2:06 "Tim"

Threatening with karma? Are you for real? Honey, like Dr. Wayne Dyer said (noting the irony here) "How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours."

Rude and crude comments? Not me. But, "back-pedal" seems to be a bad word around here.

Unlike you, safely cloaked in anonymity, I post in my real name. Why do you challenge me like this?

Why shouldn't I be posting my issues in the comment section of the blog that contains the issues? Explain that for me please.

Anonymous said...

Anna reminds me of Trump. Her consistently negative comments which appear in almost every blog reminds me how Trump cannot control his Tweets. She should just read all her comments and then take a Valium. Maybe then she will have self control.

Anna said...

Nothing more completely baffles one who is full of tricks and duplicity than
straight forward and simple integrity in another.