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  • Writer's pictureBeltsville News

From the Office of Council Member Tom Dernoga December 2020

Updated: Jan 1, 2021

Council Member Tom Dernoga casting his vote in the 2020 Presidential Election.

Development on Beltsville Agricultural Research Center

Last December in response to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a report, Scoping Phase for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing Replacement Project relocation to the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC). In response to your inputs from a Town Hall, I provided inputs that questioned the initial assessment that the project would have little to no impact on traffic, the environment, the water, and energy usage.

This week we received notification via the issuance of a Draft Environmental Impact Study that the proposal to relocate the Bureau of Engraving & Printing from downtown D.C. to the BARC has moved forward.

As outlined the new BEP facility will cover 122 acres with a 1 million square foot building and 1,600 employees. Access will be off an entrance on Powder Mill Road. The actual facility is located adjacent to Vansville where the current Poultry barns are today. The new report has stated there will be no to minimal impacts on land, visual aesthetics, air quality, noise, environment (except potential slight impact on two (2) streams), traffic and transportation, utilities, hazardous waste, and human health and safety.

I want to hear what you have to say about this project so that your viewpoints are represented in my official response. But I also want you to review the Draft Environmental Impact Study (EIS) yourselves and provide your direct responses to the Army Corps of Engineers as well. The Draft EIS is now available for review and comment through December 21st. For more information go to

Update on Former Behnke’s Property

The new owner of the Behnke property has formally filled their plan to build a gas station and 7-11 on the section of the property facing Route 1. If you have questions or comments, you may contact the Adam Bossi of the Planning Department at 301-780-8116. It is scheduled for a Planning Board hearing on February 4, 2021. To become a person of record sign up at You will be notified of the Planning Board hearing and receive a copy of the Planning Board Resolution. To keep up with all development in District 1, my office keeps an active spreadsheet which you may access at

COVID-19 Update

Unfortunately, the data for Prince George’s County is showing rapid increases in COVID 19 cases. I have been working to re-establish a County sponsored COVID testing site in the Beltsville-Laurel area and the Health Department is currently discussing a location in the City of Laurel. However, if you feel sick do not wait to be tested -- call Prince George’s 311 for COVID testing sites. No doctor’s notes are required.

Please keep in touch! Email us at or call 301.952.3887. Se habla Español.

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