Council to debate rubble landfill bill tonight Proposal emerges from 3 of years study

January 19, 1993|By John Rivera | John Rivera,Staff Writer

After three years of study and revision, a bill to regulat rubble landfills will be debated tonight by the County Council.

The bill was introduced last month by Councilwoman Virginia P. Clagett, who will withdraw her version in favor of an amended one.

Mrs. Clagett said she sponsored the legislation in an attempt to strike a balance between the legitimate needs of the operators of the landfills and the concerns of nearby residents and environmentalists.

The council also will be asked to keep the citizen committee that drafted the original proposal alive for another year to track the legislation if it is approved.

Peter Perry, co-chairman of the committee, told the council at its last meeting that the most realistic way to deal with the landfills is to acknowledge the need for them and strictly regulate them. "If we banned all rubble landfills, that would be great," he said. "But then you would find all this stuff on your roads."

There are two active rubble landfills in the county and two companies have filed applications with the Board of Appeals. A fifth company, Reliable Contracting in Millersville, has a landfill that handles only its own construction debris.

The bill requires that landfill neighbors be shielded from the operations. It also regulates sediment and erosion control, limits the hours of operation from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., and sets standards for landfill closure.

Landfill operators would be required to cover the rubble each night with soil to deprive the debris of oxygen and prevent an underground blaze like Baltimore County's "stump dump" fire that has burned since Feb. 2, 1991.

In addition, the landfill must be divided into cells of about an acre, separated by dirt fire breaks to contain a potential fire.

Council Chairman David G. Boschert is expected to introduce three additional amendments to the bill as a result of concerns raised by members of the Greater Odenton Improvement Association. The additional language concerns size, location and value of rubble taken in, as well as ground water studies and testing.

The meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers at the Arundel Center in Annapolis.

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