Sludge Rules Tightened

October 31, 1990

If you're a county resident ready to store sludge on your farm, you might as well forget it.

As expected yesterday, county commissioners adopted a change in the county's zoning ordinance that makes the storage of sludge in Carroll illegal everywhere except near publicly owned sewage treatment plants.

The change -- which takes effect today -- specifically prohibits the storage of sludge at private farms, such as the Robert C. Neall farm off Bear Run Road in Taneytown. That farm has been at the center of the county's sludge debate for years, as neighbors have been fighting a 13,500-ton sludge pit once used by Enviro-Gro Technologies.

That pit has been unused since last spring, when Enviro-Gro took the matter to the courts. Neal has maintained during several public hearings that the limiting of sludge storage are aimed against him.

His is the only private sludge storage pit in the county.

While outlawing the storage of sludge -- actually treated or untreated waste from a sewage-treatment plant -- the changes in the zoning ordinance do allow farmers to continue using sludge as fertilizer, as long as the farmer has a permit to do so from the state Department of Environment.

Six residents were on hand for the unanimous adoption of the zoning changes. County Attorney Charles W. "Chuck" Thompson said he believed the changes are "fully effective and could survive any court attack."

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