Angry residents ask state to deny oil operations permit

June 02, 1993|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Staff Writer

The state should not issue an oil operations permit to a company that neighbors say already violates air quality standards, state environmental officials were told at a public hearing last night.

About 50 people, many of them neighbors of Miller Asphalt Products Inc. in Finksburg, attended a public information hearing at the Reese fire hall on the oil permit and bombarded state officials with questions and comments about emissions from the Dede Road plant.

"You are setting up controls, but the company is not following the laws," said Al Hintenach of Reisterstown. "If something happens, it will be too late. You can't watch as much as you would like."

Mr. Hintenach asked for time to review all the information and for another hearing before the state makes a decision.

Horacio Tablada, administrator of the state oil-control program, said the permit would allow the company to recycle oil-contaminated soils, many found near underground storage tanks.

Inspectors would gather samples, enforce regulations and monitor four test wells on the site.

An independent lab would test samples weekly.

The oil permit would allow Miller Asphalt to process 25 tons of contaminated soil per hour.

"What is the cumulative effect of 1,200 tons a week, especially in a low-pressure area?" asked James A. Gede Sr., referring to weather conditions.

"Your estimates for our safety are done in a lab."

Mr. Gede said he could cite five occasions when fallout from the plant was visible in the neighborhood. David Martin, who owns Metro Campers in Finksburg, brought films detailing air violations.

"We can see clouds with the naked eye and I have film to prove it," he said.

"They [state administrators] have the films but they won't show them here."

Craig Holdefer of the state Air and Radiation Management Administration said, "After numerous inspections, we determined the plant was in compliance with our regulations and we issued an operating permit."

Residents who spot air quality violations should report them immediately to enforcement inspectors at (410) 631-3200, officials said.

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