Activist, 70, fights to protect Patapsco

February 21, 1994|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Sun Staff Writer

Monroe G. Haines Sr. says he is ready to put on the boxing gloves and fight.

"It's our environment and our health," said Mr. Haines. "We have to fight to protect it."

The 70-year-old Westminster resident is battling to save the south branch of the Patapsco River from discharges by a Woodbine oil distribution company.

He plans to be "very vocal" at a public hearing in Sykesville tomorrow.

The state Department of the Environment has scheduled the 7 p.m. hearing at the Town House on Main Street to discuss a discharge permit application by Colonial Pipeline.

The company has asked the state to renew its permit to discharge hydrostatic test water, tank bottom waste and pipeline condensate from its oil distribution center into an unnamed tributary of the Patapsco.

Mr. Haines, an environmental activist who for years monitored pollution in a stream in Westminster, is opposed to the Colonial permit. Several months ago, he asked the state Waste Management Administration to conduct a public hearing in Sykesville during evening hours so residents could attend.

"I am trying to stir things up and get some people to protest," he said.

The permit also would allow the company to discharge treated ground water and storm water runoff.

While it limits the concentrations of certain pollutants to protect water quality, the permit does not limit the amount of water that the company can discharge.

State officials say the materials to be discharged are within acceptable limits.

Mr. Haines disagrees.

The combined effects of waste from discharge permits throughout Maryland harm the Chesapeake Bay, he said.

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