Baltimore-Washington Rail Intermodal Facility HIA

At a Glance:

Location: Baltimore, Maryland

Date: 2013

Vital Condition: Meaningful Work and Wealth, Reliable Transportation, Thriving Natural World

Determinants of Health: clean air, employment, traffic safety, clean water, built environment

Affected Population: Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, Older Adults, People Living in Poverty, People with Chronic and Multiple Chronic Health Conditions

Research Methods: Focus Groups, Literature review, Primary research, Quantitative research, Qualitative research

Community Types: urban

Click to expand map

This HIA determined the impacts of the proposed Baltimore-Washington Rail Intermodal Facility at CSX’s existing Mount Clare Yard in southwest Baltimore City. The facility would transfer freight cargo between trains and trucks, and operate twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week. The facility poses potential health concerns that include air and noise pollution and substantial increases in local truck traffic leading to safety risks. Its construction and operation may also benefit health by creating local jobs and generating community tax revenue that supports services essential to health. The communities surrounding the site have a higher proportion of people of color than the rest of the state and suffer from disproportionate rates of infant mortality, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes-related deaths.

The report recommended that CSX pay Baltimore a facility regulatory and site infrastructure fee to partially offset potential negative impacts on access to neighborhood resources. The report also highlighted the need to assess and monitor the facility’s projected impacts on air quality and urged continued engagement with the community in decision-making and priority-setting for the community improvements that CSX plans to make with project funds.


The HIA process helped to bring community members and organizations together to form new partnerships and voice their opinions. Decision-makers opted not to move forward with the intermodal facility due to strong community organizing and community concerns. Through the HIA process, the Morrell Park community built the capacity to organize around other neighborhood issues.

This Health Impact Assessment Report first appeared in The Cross-Sector Toolkit for Health. The Cross-Sector Toolkit for Health was originally developed by the Health Impact Project, formerly a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts. The creation of this resource was supported by a grant from the Health Impact Project. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Pew Charitable Trusts, or the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Assessment Reports

Explore More on Community Commons

Embed Card

You can use the following link to embed this card into another website.