Polluted water is focus of talks at Silver Run PACE group points to contamination from Pa. landfill

September 29, 1992|By Greg Tasker | Greg Tasker,Staff Writer

Frank and Maria DiFatta escaped suburbia for rural Carroll County, where they bought a 142-year-old farmhouse on 30 acres.

Shortly after they moved into their home on Leppo Road in August, they learned about water contamination in the Silver Run area -- caused by the Keystone landfill, a quarter-mile over the line in Pennsylvania.

Last night, the former Towson couple were among about two dozen residents who attended a meeting in Silver Run about the problems at St. Mary's United Church of Christ, sponsored by People Against Contamination of the Environment Inc.

PACE is a non-profit group formed in 1984 to battle environmental problems associated with the landfill.

"It kind of scares you when you get a [flier] in the mail telling you about all this," Mrs. DiFatta said. "I'm concerned. We just put a well in. I'd be concerned even if we didn't put a well in -- just because there's a landfill nearby."

From PACE President Susan Hardinger and other residents, the DiFattas learned that little has been done about water contamination.

State Del. Donald B. Elliott, R-Carroll, who attended the meeting, pledged help in getting state and federal officials to bring pressure on the Environmental Protection Agency.

Almost a decade ago, after Pennsylvania officials found contamination of ground water during routine testings, citizens pressured EPA to investigate the site. A year later, contamination was found across the state line in Carroll County.

Since then, EPA has cited Keystone as one of the nation's worst polluted sites and placed the landfill on its Superfund cleanup list.

A year ago, the federal agency ordered 12 of the polluters to develop plans to clean up the ground water and cap the landfill.

The EPA has recently been interviewing residents about their concerns, said Amy Barnett of EPA's regional headquarters in Philadelphia.

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