New zoning regulations to limit the size, location and operation of rubble landfills have been proposed by the County Council.
The entire council introduced legislation Tuesday that would apply to all rubble landfills that have not yet received operating permits from the state -- including the proposed Gravel Hill rubble landfill located on 55 acres near Havre de Grace.
The bill has been proposed as emergency legislation, meaning it would become law the day it is passed. A public hearing on the bill has been scheduled for March 12 at 6:30 p.m. in the council chambers, in the lower level of the courthouse in Bel Air.
Said Councilwoman Theresa Pierno, D-District C, "It's a very comprehensive bill and it's not aimed at any particular rubble fill."
The bill comes two months after the council voted to appeal a county circuit judge's decision in the Gravel Hill rubble landfill case. The decision cleared the way for Maryland Reclamation Associates Inc. to apply for a state permit to operate the rubble landfill near Havre de Grace.
Said Pierno, "It may be challenged. But most of the bill was taken right from Anne Arundel County's bill. It was a chance we felt we had to take."
The rubble landfill bill would:
* Require the rubble landfill site be at least 100 acres in size.
* Prohibit any part of the sitefrom being within 500 feet of a flood plain.
* Require the rubblelandfill be located 1,000 feet from "any lawfully permitted residential, institutional or industrial building."
* Require the rubble landfill to provide a wheel washer so that vehicles could wash their wheels of mud and dirt before leaving the site.
* Limit the height of the pile of rubble in the fill to 40 feet above the mean elevation. Mean elevation designates an intermediate height measurement between the highest and lowest points of the rubble landfill.
William G.Carroll, director of the county's Department of Planning and Zoning,said there are few requirements for rubble landfills in the county'szoning laws.
"Rubble fills are not specified, so we use the same standards as the ones for sanitary landfills," said Carroll. "Rubble fills are therefore permitted in all zoning districts, and are required to have a 200-foot buffer between the fill and adjoining properties. The only other requirements are that the site plan be reviewed by planning and zoning and public works, and be approved by the county council."