The Galaxy/Spectron, Inc., (Spectron) Site is an abandoned solvent recycling facility located approximately six miles northwest of Elkton, Maryland. The Site covers approximately 8 acres adjacent to Little Elk Creek, a tributary to the Elk River and the upper Chesapeake Bay. The main portion of the Site (Plant Area) consists of seven acres on the southern bank of Little Elk Creek; another portion of the Site is an approximately one-acre parcel of the Site (Office Area) located on the northern bank of Little Elk Creek.
The Site began as a paper mill. From the late 1800s through the early 1950s, a water-powered paper mill operated on the property. In 1961, Galaxy Chemicals, Inc. began a solvent recovery operation treating wastes generated by the electronics, pharmaceutical, paint, and chemical process industries. Galaxy Chemicals claimed bankruptcy in 1975. The facility reopened as Solvent Distillers, Inc., with primarily the same ownership. Solvent Distillers, Inc., which later changed its name to Spectron, Inc., closed the facility in 1988, declared bankruptcy and abandoned the Site with approximately 1,300 drums and 62 large storage tanks containing hazardous chemicals and waste left on site.