Although the bwtech@UMBC Research & Technology Park opened in 2002, it was a project more than a decade in the making. After discovering an illegal garbage dump in 1990, the university decided to publicly make plans for the construction of a research park the following year. This announcement was met with skepticism from the community, who were concerned about another large-scale building in the area, traffic, and possible chemical leaks despite possible job opportunities and the economic benefits. Zoning conflicts between UMBC, Arbutus, and Catonsville lasted for years, ultimately resulting in the university agreeing to scale back the size of the project. Today, the 71-acre park’s north and south campuses house more than 120 tech companies and research institutions.