Closed landfill must cut copper in water

June 24, 1994

The owner of the closed Solley Road landfill will have to reduce high levels of copper in its treated water before the state will grant a permit to discharge into Marley Creek.

Browning Ferris Industries has asked the Maryland Department of the Environment to allow it to send the treated water from the hazardous waste site into a stream feeding Marley Creek.

The state agency will hold a public hearing at 2:30 p.m. today in the lobby conference room of the Tawes State Office Building in Annapolis.

Agency officials said the only concern is that the level of copper in the water, which is already being treated, sometimes reaches 25 parts per billion, above the 18 parts per billion allowed for surface discharge.

Last year, BFI built a network of pipes and aerators to clean polluted ground water and inject it into the ground.

The company turned off the system in March, said BFI project manager Jill Nelson -- even though it had been able to treat the water to drinking standards -- because the aerated water was creating blockages in the underground aquifer.

The company is temporarily pumping the contaminated ground water into a holding pond to keep it from reaching homes along Marley Neck Road and eventually reaching Marley Creek.

The injection system was one of the protective environmental measures that failed at the troubled landfill.

The clay cap is coming apart, and BFI is seeking federal permission to reseal the facility.

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