In October 1998, Senator Barbara Mikulski secured $750,000 in federal funds for relocation of the residents of the point. Just days later, an explosion, fireball, and three-alarm fire resulted from malfunctioning equipment at a chemical plant operated by Condea Vista. Five workers were severely injured at the plant. The explosion was heard from miles away and shattered windows in the neighborhoods. Most residents, even previous holdouts, were amenable to relocation after the explosion. With all of the attention, including the ongoing coverage of the residents’ plight by Baltimore Sun journalist Joe Mathews, the general public was beginning to see the problems of the point.[i]
[i] For a detailed, almost day-by-day, account of the buyout of Wagner’s Point and Fairfield, see Blom, “How Close to Justice?” especially pages 115-251. Also see articles by Joe Mathews in the Baltimore Sun during the late-1990s.