Two Landfills Deleted From Waste Plan

Proposed Sites Fail To Meet Zoning Rules

June 16, 1991|By Carol L. Bowers | Carol L. Bowers,Staff writer

The County Council has voted to remove two proposed landfills from the county's master waste disposal plan.

The resolution deletes theGravel Hill Road site near Havre de Grace and the Fort Hoyle Road site near Joppa from the county's solid waste management plan, a 10-year waste disposal plan required by the state. The resolution passed unanimously Tuesday with no discussion.

The move could kill the two projects because a rubble landfill, to be eligible for a state operating permit, must be included in the county's master waste disposal plan.

However, state officials said passage of the resolution would not automatically halt permit reviewsby the Department of the Environment.

According to the resolution, council members removed the two sites from the plan because they don't meet zoning regulations passed last month. The regulations set a 100-acre minimum size and other standards for rubble landfills.

The Gravel Hill Road site, owned by Maryland Reclamation Associates Inc. of Churchville, is 55 acres. The Fort Hoyle Road site, owned by Harford Sands Inc., is 78 acres. Larry Stancill, president of Harford Sands, is also one of four guarantors of an $800,000 loan MRA used to buy its Gravel Hill Road property.

The council resolution also cited an emergency zoning enforcement bill passed June 4 and signed into law Monday by County Executive Eileen M. Rehrmann that allows the council to remove a site from the Solid Waste Management Plan under two conditions:

* It doesn't meet zoning requirements.

* The ownershaven't obtained a state operating permit within 18 months after thesite was included in the master waste disposal plan.

The owners of both proposed rubble landfills have taken more than two years trying to get state permits.

Because the resolution was heavily amendedafter a public hearing last Tuesday, council President Jeffrey D. Wilson offered Richard D. Schafer, president of MRA, and his lawyer, William D. Hooper Jr., an opportunity to comment.

"I just received this document a few minutes ago. . . . After reading it, I feel nothing I can say would change the course of conduct this council seems intent on pursuing," said Hooper. "I'll save my remarks for another time, place and forum." Hooper had no comment on what future action MRA might take.

In the resolution, the council said "the continued failure of the principals of these sites to diligently pursue permit approval has impaired the county's ability to adequately plan for its solid waste disposal needs."

Robert J. Donald, deputy director of environmental affairs for the Department of Public Works, said the county faces no immediate problems in finding private sites that will accept rubble and other construction debris generated within the county.

"We still have the Oak Avenue rubble fill (owned by Pappy's Inc.) and Spencer's Sand & Gravel Inc.," said Donald. The Oak Avenue landfill is in Joppa, and Spencer's, which has applied for an expanded state permit, is in Abingdon.

"They are grandfathered into the new legislation because they had already had permits," said Donald. "We estimated the two would serve the county for five to eight years."

Controversy over the Gravel Hill Road site began in the spring of 1990, when the council reversed its 1989 decision to put the site in the county's waste disposal plan. MRA sued and won, but the council appealed the case to the Court of Special Appeals. Tuesay's vote is expectedto have no effect on the appeal, which is scheduled to be heard in October, said H. Edward Andrews III, council attorney.

Recently, MRA filed a zoning appeal, questioning whether recently passed standards for rubble landfills should apply to its operation. A hearing has been scheduled for 7 p.m. July 22 in the council chambers at the County Courthouse in Bel Air.

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