BEP turns eyes to Maryland as site for new facility
- Published: Apr 15, 2019, 4 AM
An April 1 news release from the Army Corps of Engineers, issued in conjunction with the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, offers a hint that the search for a site to host a new BEP printing facility in the Washington area may be over.
The announcement confirmed a report by The Greenbelt News Review in Maryland on Feb. 22 stating that the BEP met with the Greenbelt City Council to tell them of plans to move its printing operation out of Washington. The story said that the preferred location was a 100-acre site in the USDA’s Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, where only about half of its 500 buildings are currently being used.
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The Corps of Engineers report cites the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, known as the Farm Bill, as the authorization for the BEP to consider the Beltsville property. BEP Director Len Olijar said, “The BARC option ... and moving to existing federal property — is a pragmatic solution to our needs. The majority of our employees live in Maryland — 65 percent; and of those, nearly half live in Prince George’s County.”
Olijar added, “We are excited to partner with the USDA to assess this parcel of their existing federal land, while reducing their excess footprint of unused facilities, and to partner with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Baltimore, who have extensive experience delivering large, complex federal projects like this one throughout the region.”
The three agencies will embark on a multi-faceted study of factors such as potential ecological, cultural, water, public health and safety, traffic and other consequences from construction of the plant.
When completed, the suburban location would provide numerous advantages over the current situation in the BEP’s century-old building. Among them are cost-savings, improved security capabilities such as a secure perimeter not possible in the city, efficiency made possible by having all operations on one floor, safety, and flexibility.
The report also discussed the future of the two BEP buildings in Washington. The Main Building is to be modernized and remain BEP’s administrative headquarters and also provide space for other federal agencies. The Annex will probably be declared as excess.
The proposed new site is north of Powder Mill Road, about one mile east of Edmondston Road in Greenbelt County.
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