County officials ask state to test car exhaust elsewhere, not in business park Landowner has contract pending with builder of emissions stations

November 16, 1993|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff Writer

The Air Business Park is no place for a state emissions testing station, Carroll officials complained to state transportation officials yesterday.

But that's where the station may be because the landowner has a contract pending with the company that will build the station.

"They have committed to it," said Michael L. Schuett, a consultant who represents the landowner -- Operating Engineers Local No. 37 in Baltimore.

The union, which owns 44 acres at the industrial park on Route 97 north of Westminster, has a contract to sell about two acres to Marta Technologies Inc., a Tennessee company that won a state contract to build new emissions stations.

"I would say it's a dead issue unless we can sit down with the contractor," Maryland Transportation Deputy Secretary Stephen G. Zentz said.

State transportation officials met with the county commissioners and local officials yesterday at the County Office Building for an annual session on transportation issues.

Mr. Zentz said the federal Clean Air Act required a more stringent emissions test for cars, which meant the state had to ask for bids from companies willing to perform the new test.

Existing test stations are owned by another company, not the state, Mr. Zentz said. It was the new contractor's responsibility to find a location, he said. "In the end, it's his decision."

"That's possibly the worst possible place to put an emissions station in the county," said Del. Richard N. Dixon, a Carroll Democrat.

Commissioner Julia W. Gouge said the county developed the Air Business Park to attract companies that would create jobs for residents. An emissions station would take the land off county tax rolls, she said.

"This is a large county. There surely has to be another spot," Mrs. Gouge said.

Commissioner Donald I. Dell said the county has invested "a lot of time and money" in the industrial park, and building an emissions station there "would defeat the purpose."

The emissions station is expected to draw 200 cars a day, Mr. Schuett said.

To alleviate possible traffic problems, he said he had proposed that the station be built near Meadow Branch Road, north of existing buildings at the Air Business Park, and motorists could drive to and from the station on Meadow Branch Road without passing through the industrial park.

Mr. Schuett said state highway officials told him that access to Meadow Branch Road would not be allowed.

At the meeting yesterday, Mr. Dell said officials discussed that proposal, but did not like it.

Marta Technologies has a contract to build about 20 emissions stations around the state, Mr. Zentz said.

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