Prospect of incinerator tops issues raised at meeting on environment

December 03, 1992|By Greg Tasker | Greg Tasker,Staff Writer

The few Carroll residents who attended a public meeting on environmental issues last night came to express concerns about the commissioners looking into a waste-to-energy plant.

Among those who raised concerns about incinerators and their effects on the environment were Steve Boyan of Marriottsville and Westminster Councilwoman Rebecca Orenstein.

Only five people attended the meeting at the County Office Building, and only two of them spoke. It was the county Environmental Affairs Advisory Board's first night meeting to gather public comment on environmental issues.

"We hope over time to see these meetings grow," said Frank Grabowski, the committee's vice chairman. "It's the only way we have to find out what your concerns are."

Incinerators were the concerns last night. In recent months, the commissioners, county environmental staff and municipal officials, have visited a waste-to-energy plant in Lancaster, Pa. County officials are considering sponsoring public tours of the facility.

The county, which is updating its 10-year solid waste management plan, is considering a waste-to-energy plant -- which produces power by burning trash -- as an option for solid waste disposal.

The county's two landfills are expected to reach capacity by the year 2007. The landfills, along with a five-month-old voluntary recycling program, comprise the county's solid waste management plan.

James E. Slater Jr., Office of the Environment administrator, said the commissioners are "looking at a lot of different options. I think it shows they're taking seriously the need for solid waste options."

Ms. Orenstein said incinerators always cause a public outcry in the siting process, cost millions of dollars and cause concerns about emissions because of Maryland's high cancer rate.

Mr. Grabowski said a subcommittee will be appointed to study the issue. "It's something being considered seriously," he said.

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