ANNAPOLIS — Members of a Union Bridge citizens' group hand-delivered a petition to Gov. William Donald Schaefer's office Thursday asking him to deny Lehigh Portland Cement Co. permission to burn certain wastes at its plant.
Residents for a Healthier Union Bridge Area collected about 600 signatures on the petition which asks that the Union Bridge company not be allowed to burn carbon waste and hazardous wastes in its cement kilns.
Page W. Boinest, assistant press secretary to the governor, said,"I'll make sure the governor sees it, and we'll go from there."
The Maryland Department of the Environment currently is considering anapplication from Lehigh to burn carbon waste as an alternative fuel.
Lehigh would be paid to take the carbon waste from a New Jersey chemical and pharmaceutical company that uses the carbon in its waste water treatment process.
CIBA-GEIGY standardizes, or matches, dyesat its plant in Toms River, N.J. Several years ago, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency declared the company's Tom's River site a Superfund site because of ground water and soil contamination.
Residents voiced their opposition to the plan at two public meetings on the application in January.
Lehigh officials say the carbon waste would help reduce the company's fuel costs. It would be burned in addition to coal, waste oils and wood chips in the company's four kilns.
MDE spokesman Michael Sullivan said officials expect to make a decision soon about Lehigh's application.
Lehigh also has asked MDE for permission to burn some hazardous wastes, including solvents, paintproducts and thinners, in its kilns. Public hearings on this application have not been scheduled yet.
The petition presented Thursday says:
"We, the undersigned, request Gov. William Donald Schaefer to invoke his executive power to see that the MDE denies Lehigh Portland Cement Co.'s request for two permits to burn non-hazardous and hazardous waste at their Union Bridge plant. Emissions from this plant are a particular concern to residents of Carroll and Frederick counties."
Last month, the state cited Lehigh for illegal emissions on 21days in February and March and has proposed fining the company $20,000.
State law prohibits any visible emissions.
The emissions were ground limestone, shale and sand, which are materials used to makecement.
Sullivan said state officials have discussed the situation with Lehigh, but have not yet made a decision about the fine.