Kanasco Dumping Opposed

September 29, 1991

Brooklyn Park residents and elected officials are mobilizing againsta pharmaceutical company's request to dump industrial waste regularly into the public sewer system.

Kanasco Ltd., a penicillin manufacturer that has a history of spills at its plant on Robinwood Road, isseeking a license from the county Utilities Department to discharge treated chemical wastes.

Community leaders said they were shocked when they heard the news. They have been up in arms since the company spilled toxic solvents into the sewers this summer. Residents reported seven spills in threemonths, prompting the state Department of the Environment to launch an investigation.

The legislation delegation from North County wrote a sharply worded letter opposing Kanasco's request.

"Kanasco has shown total disregard for the health and well-being of the citizensin the northern Anne Arundel County area by illegally discharging toxic chemicals over the past years," the letter charged. "They have been unwilling and unable to properly discharge their toxic waste and have shown no interest in complying with the laws."

State Sen. Philip C. Jimeno and Delegates Joan Cadden, W. Ray Huff and Charles W. Kolodziejski, all Democratic leaders from North County neighborhoods, signed the letter Thursday.

Kanasco faces substantial fines for discharging methylene chloride, acetone and isopropyl alcohol into the county sewers through an employee toilet in late June, said Jody Vollmar, a spokeswoman for the Utilities Department.

The county alreadyoffered to negotiate a special agreement to allow Kanasco to dump treated waste into the sewers in 1988, Vollmar said. That was the year a leak of methylene chloride at the Kanasco plant sent 10 Ferndale families to the hospital and forced 17 others to evacuate their homes.

An attorney for Kanasco asked the county last month to reopen the negotiations. Charles Devalane told the Utilities Department that company officials had reprimanded the janitor who dumped the solvents into the toilet in June and had training sessions to prevent another mishap.

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