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Best Heavy Metal Parking Lot

The Horseshoe Casino

1525 Russell St.,

It’s not slated to open until next year, but the site of the future Horseshoe Casino is a busy construction zone right now—stirring up whatever’s in the soil. We’ve looked at the regulator-approved “response action plan” that sets out how the developers and operators plan to keep construction workers, casino staff, and patrons safe, despite the thorough chemical contamination the site has endured over the past century or so. Arsenic, antimony, manganese, cadmium, chromium, thalium, vanadium, lead, mercury—all are found in the soil here at concentrations exceeding government toxicity standards. Most, if not all, of these would be found in high concentrations almost anywhere in Baltimore soils beneath former industrial sites, but most such sites are not being dug up to become casinos. Congratulations, Caesars! You (or your heirs and successors, of course) now get to host world-class gambling on top of a choice stew of toxic heavy metals.

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