Miller Asphalt likely to get OK on oil permit

July 21, 1993|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff Writer

Miller Asphalt Products Inc. in Finksburg is operating according to state regulations and likely will be allowed to continue treating contaminated soil, Maryland Department of the Environment officials said last night.

Ten people attended a public information meeting at the Reese Fireman's Building to discuss the company's application for an oil operations permit. Several asked questions about the plant operation and how it's regulated.

The company, on Dede Road, has been treating contaminated soil for two years.

A new state law required it to apply for the permit.

In addition to making asphalt, the company recycles oil- and gas-contaminated soils by heating them and destroying the contaminants. Some of the clean soil is used for cover at county landfills, owner Paul Miller said. The plant can burn up to 25 tons of soil per hour.

State inspectors from the MDE's Air and Radiant Management Administration have regularly inspected the plant for two years and have found that its emissions are in compliance with state standards, said Frank Whitehead, administrator of the Community Environmental Services Program.

The only violation connected with the soil-treatment process was in 1992, when the plant's emissions were over the limit three times, he said.

"The compliance record really doesn't say we have a major problem," Mr. Whitehead said.

On June 1, about 50 people attended a state-sponsored meeting on Miller Asphalt's permit application. Some residents complained about emissions from the plant.

But Michael J. Caughlin of the Air and Radiant Management Administration, said MDE has received no calls from citizens complaining about emissions.

Ann Binford of Westminster complained that many Carroll residents did not know about the plant's operations until recently because the company advertised its start-up in the Hanover, Pa., Evening Sun but not in Carroll County newspapers.

The company's air-emissions permit will expire in September and citizens will have an opportunity to comment again, the officials said.

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