Paint chips from tower cleaned up by city crew BALTIMORE COUNTY

March 13, 1993|By Lisa Goldberg | Lisa Goldberg,Contributing Writer

Residents near the Reisterstown-Glyndon border breathed a temporary sigh of relief yesterday as two Baltimore City workers cleaned up chips of lead paint that, for more than a month, have been falling from a nearby water tower onto local lawns.

David Filbert, chief of the Baltimore County Bureau of Air Quality and Waste Management, said test results received this week indicate that the paint chips on First Avenue can be defined as hazardous waste. He said his office will meet with city officials early next week to work on plans to renovate the tower.

Earlier this week, city and county employees told The Sun they were working to fix the problem at the city-owned tower, but the city's bid process could take months. Television news crews showed up after the story appeared.

Now, Vanessa Pyatt, spokeswoman for the city's Department of Public Works, said the contract process has been expedited and the city is "moving to get the contract awarded as soon as possible."

The sight of the workmen yesterday seemed ironic to Sean Staley, who lives on First Avenue and reported the problem to city and county officials last month.

"I don't know why this wasn't done sooner," he said. The city and county "seem to have jumped real quick. At least until the media thing dies down things will start rolling."

The workers from the city's Department of Public Works, wearing protective white suits, green gloves and hard hats, roamed the lawns along First Avenue and the nearby streets yesterday.

They searched the ground for paint chips and put them into plastic trash bags.

Paul Swank, chief of safety, and Mark Snyder, assistant division chief for utility maintenance for Public Works, watched as the two workers cleaned the yards around the tower. They said the workmen didn't find a lot of chips.

However, the city will send one or two workers out weekly to remove paint chips from the property around the tower, Ms. Pyatt said.

Mr. Filbert said that with the renovation in city hands, his office will test the soil in the area for possible lead contamination.

"I'm pleased that somebody is doing something because this can be dangerous," said Demetra Goldman, who lives three houses from the tower.

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