SILVER RUN — The state has decided to allow a pet crematory to operate in North Carroll, but residents still have an opportunity to oppose it -- and they will.
"I don't want that here, right across the street from me," resident Dwyn Fleischer said.
Residents are concerned in part because two years ago, the state shut down two crematories operated by Jerry Rosenbaum in Dorsey, Howard County, that did not meet emissions standards and did not have operating permits.
In a legal notice published in a county newspaper last weekend, the Maryland Department of the Environment said it willissue a permit to Rosenbaum, owner of J. R. NOW Inc., to operate a crematory in Silver Run Industrial Park on Littlestown Pike.
Residents can request a hearing to contest the decision, but they must argue that they would be "adversely affected" by the crematory.
MDE spokesman Michael Sullivan said state officials will review the arguments and decide whether a hearing should be granted.
MDE officials said the crematory proposed for Silver Run would be a multichamber unit capable of meeting emissions standards. The crematories in Dorsey were single-chamber incinerators.
Residents oppose the crematory because they fear it will affect air quality and their health, contaminate wells, lower property values and generate more traffic.
They have organized a community group that will meet Friday night to discuss their concerns, said Sue Rathbone, one of the leaders.
"There's a tremendous amount of apprehension," said Rathbone, who suffers froma lung disease.
Group members are distributing 350 fliers to announce the meeting, she said, adding that she expects about 150 to attend.
Residents say they believe veterinarians and animal shelters will be the crematory's main customers, not the pet owners Rosenbaum has emphasized, Rathbone said.
Rosenbaum said he will cremate only domestic animals -- cats and dogs -- not farm animals.
He said he's become "callous" because of residents' opposition to the crematory.He and his family had considered moving to Silver Run but said they might reconsider.
"Have those people as our neighbors? We're not sure," he said.
Rosenbaum, who operates a pet cemetery in Dorsey, said he owns a 10,000-square-foot building at the industrial park and is negotiating to buy the whole complex.