EPA draws fire for siting of landfill meeting

August 12, 1993|By Greg Tasker | Greg Tasker,Staff Writer

Maryland and Pennsylvania citizens' groups criticized the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency yesterday for scheduling a public meeting about the Keystone Sanitation Landfill in Gettysburg, Pa., a dozen miles from the Superfund site.

"I'm very disappointed that, over the objections of the community, the EPA would choose to hold a meeting about the Superfund site so far from the community where the site is," said Susan Hardinger, president of People Against Contamination of the Environment (PACE). "We have so many suitable sites in the community.

"It doesn't seem as if the EPA is interested in relating to the community or serving the community," Ms. Hardinger said.

The Superfund site is in Union Township, Pa., about a quarter-mile from the Carroll County line. The landfill is suspected of contaminating drinking water in Pennsylvania and Maryland.

The EPA has scheduled a public information meeting on the Superfund site at 7 p.m. today in the lower ballroom at the Holiday Inn, 516 Baltimore St., Gettysburg.

EPA officials were not available yesterday for comment.

The EPA has been meeting monthly with residents to discuss the proposed landfill cleanup. No work has begun yet, but EPA officials are working with 11 polluters to develop a plan to cap part of the landfill and build a ground-water treatment plant to clean water used by residents in the surrounding area.

Over the last several months, EPA officials have met several times with PACE and members of Citizens Urge Rescue of the Environment (CURE), a Pennsylvania citizens group, at a Silver Run church.

"We've objected to taking the meeting out of the community because of concerns about getting people there," said Mary Minor, director of CURE. "The nucleus of people who have been victimized live near the landfill. We've been holding meetings at the church in Silver Run, and we've had no objections to having them there."

Ms. Minor said she was informed by letter that a hydrogeologist and toxicologist would attend the Gettysburg meeting. Residents have been pressing the EPA for months to have those specialists attend meetings so the citizens could learn more about the contamination and potential health effects.

Keystone was named a Superfund site in 1987, a few years after Pennsylvania residents found contaminants in their wells.

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