Officials seek answers on recycling plant

June 23, 1992|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,Staff Writer

Crofton officials upset at a decision to allow a concrete and asphalt recycling plant on Route 3 will get another chance to question state environmental officials before deciding whether to appeal that go-ahead.

Representatives from the state and Crofton will meet tomorrow at Town Hall. Crofton officials will try to get answers that Civic Association President Ed Dosek said were not provided at a public hearing last month.

The board of directors plans to decide next Monday whether to appeal the Maryland Department of the Environment's preliminary approval of a large crusher that would recycle 20,000 tons of concrete and asphalt a year.

Before the actual permit is issued, the company -- E. L. Gardner Inc. -- must take out advertisements in a newspaper saying that anyone adversely affected by the state's decision can file an appeal.

If Crofton -- or anyone else -- appeals and the state Office of Administrative Hearings decides the appeal is warranted, a second hearing will be held, in front of an administrative law judge.

If no one files an appeal within 10 days of when the notice first appears, the state will issue the permit.

Ron Gardner, vice president of Gardner, on Route 3 near its intersection with Route 424, said he also may attend the meeting.

At a May 13 hearing, residents complained that the recycling plant would add noise and dust to the area. Opponents also complained that a mathematical model used to show that the Gardner operation met air quality standards was flawed because the cited quantities of dust and emissions differed from those the permit would allow.

John Goheen, a spokesman for the Maryland Department of the Environment, said the model was based on numbers -- such as hours of operation -- furnished by the company, while the language in the permit was generic.

He said changes have been made since the hearing that will require the company to stick to hours that are in the model, something company officials already have agreed to do. "This is where the citizens assisted us," Goheen said.

Dosek said he still is not convinced. He said state officials promised to send out written responses to questions they could not answer at the meeting. Dosek, who hasn't received anything from the state yet, said he had expected to receive the documentation before the preliminary approval was made.

"We can't wait for them before we decide what to do," Dosek said. The process "leaves something to be desired."

Goheen said the transcripts and answers are still being prepared and will be sent out as soon as they are completed.

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