Army building incinerator at APG for medical wastes

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

The U.S. Army has started construction of an incinerator to burn medical and laboratory wastes from a research agency at Aberdeen Proving Ground.

Work on the 16-square-foot incinerator -- described as an outdoor fireplace with a shelter over its top -- started last week at the Edgewood area of the proving ground, Army officials said.

The Army is building the incinerator to handle waste from the Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense.

It will replace a 12-year-old facility that has no air-pollution control equipment and does not meet federal Clean Air Act standards, said Lloyd Roberts, spokesman for the institute.

"We need to do this to stay in compliance," Mr. Roberts said.

The Army has obtained state air-quality and construction permits for the facility, APG spokeswoman Barbara Filbert said.

The agency still needs a state solid-waste refuse facility permit and approval from the County Council.

"Construction can start, but until we get the permits, we can't use the incinerator," Ms. Filbert said.

Members of the County Council are to meet with Army representatives to discuss plans for the incinerator and two rubble landfills at the proving ground tomorrow.

The Army is asking the council to include the facilities in the county's solid-waste management plan, which establishes where waste facilities can be located and what they can accept.

The new incinerator -- to be ready for operation in about a year -- will be next to the existing incinerator outside the institute's laboratories near Weide Field.

Once the new incinerator is built and certified to operate, the old unit will be torn down, Mr. Roberts said.

The incinerator will not burn hazardous materials, but will take materials such as ground corn cobs, animal bedding and other waste from the institute, he said.

The institute researches treatments and antidotes for chemical warfare agents.

About 136,000 pounds of materials are expected to be burned in the incinerator annually.

In addition to the incinerator, the Army is seeking county and state approval for two rubble landfills, including:

*The Phillips Army Airfield Rubble Landfill, a 10-acre dump off Bush River and Airbase Loop roads in the Aberdeen Area of the proving ground. The new facility is expected to accept 216,000 cubic yards of construction and demolition debris during its 12-year life span.

*Westwood Rubble Landfill, a 27-acre dump in the Edgewood Area that has a state permit that expires in April 1993.

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