Gilchrest urges state to study rubble fill closely

July 12, 1992|By Alan J. Craver | Alan J. Craver,Staff Writer

U.S. Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest has urged state environment officials to carefully study an Abingdon rubble fill in a letter supporting citizens who have questioned operations at the dump.

In the letter to the state Department of the Environment, the 1st District congressman expressed concern over health and environmental threats posed by the Spencer Sand & Gravel Inc. rubble fill.

"I am aware of a concerted effort by Harford citizens to find answers to these troubling problems surrounding the Spencer fill," Mr. Gilchrest said in the letter.

"In their careful research of the history of the site, they have uncovered some troubling patterns," he said. "I hope these questions can be adequately answered."

The June 22 letter was addressed to MDE Secretary Robert Perciasepe. Copies of the letter were circulated to Harford Executive Eileen M. Rehrmann, the County Council, county and council attorneys and residents.

Mr. Gilchrest said in the letter that state and county documents brought to his attention by county residents question whether Spencer expanded the rubble fill without the required hearings or permits.

The congressman also expressed concern about the potential for ground water contamination posed by the dump and Spencer's numerous operating infractions, such as allowing trash to be dumped at the site.

Spencer, which has operated the dump since the late 1970s, is seeking a state permit to expand the 52-acre rubble fill by 18 acres. A public hearing on the request has not been scheduled.

Meanwhile, citizens have asked the county to remove the rubble fill from its solid-waste management plan, which designates where such facilities can operate and what materials they can accept.

If the county were to follow through with that request, it could put Spencer out of business.

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