Linthicum * Ferndale * Brooklyn Park * Pumphrey

NORTH COUNTY --

October 21, 1992

Natural Resources Department fines Curtis Bay fertilizer plant

Maryland's Department of Natural Resources has fined a Curtis Bay fertilizer plant $9,000 for releasing nutrient-rich dust into the air.

The Southern States Cooperative, which mixes fertilizers at its Stahl Point Road plant, was cited for generating and releasing excessive dust on several dates in June 1991 and February 1992, said John Goheen, a spokesman for the Maryland Department of the Environment.

Inspectors with the state Air Management Administration noted dust escaping from doorways, windows and a dust-filtration system at the plant during those two months, Mr. Goheen said.

State rules, which list the dust as a public nuisance, prohibit the release of any visible emissions from smokestacks and vents other than steam. The creation of dust is expected in the mixing process, Mr. Goheen said. But the company is required to control it.

Not only is the fertilizer dust a public nuisance, but it contains nutrients that could be washed by rain into Curtis Bay, spurring blooms of algae that deplate the oxygen necessary for aquatic life.

The state cited the company in March and assessed a $12,000 penalty in the spring. The penalty was reduced in an Aug. 4 settlement with the company.

Officials with Southern States agreed to pay the lesser fine, close certain windows and doors and improve its dust collection system. However, company officials did not have to admit to any of the violations.

POLICE LOG

* Brooklyn Park Burglars broke into a home in the 900 block of First Ave. Friday and stole money and other property valued at $795.

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