Fly ash disposal approved

June 28, 1994|By Consella A. Lee | Consella A. Lee,Sun Staff Writer

The Anne Arundel County Board of Appeals yesterday issued Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. a grading permit to begin disposing of fly ash at Brandonwood Business Park on Solley Road in Glen Burnie.

BGE has used fly ash, a waste product from its coal-fired generators at the Brandon Shores and Wagner Point power plants, as structural fill material on two parcels of land across from the power plant since 1982.

The Coalition of Communities and Citizens Against Fly Ash appealed in mid-April the grading permit that would allow BGE to use a third parcel for fly ash disposal, saying the company had failed to meet a grading requirement to have on hand an overall site plan.

"It was basically appealed on a technicality," said Charles J. Franklin, a spokesman for the utility who said the company had previously filed a site plan with the county's zoning office.

"They, and we, felt that constituted a site plan," said Mr. Franklin.

He said he did not believe the utility had started placing fly ash at the site. He did not know exactly when it would start doing so.

BGE is doing site preparation on the 41.4 acres in the 7600 block of Solley Road.

The work includes removing trees and leveling the ground, Mr. Franklin said.

Marley Neck residents had feared the utility company would use the third parcel of land as just an ash landfill, creating huge mounds of fly ash looming over their neighborhood.

"The problem is this issue is not something that will jump up and bite you. Their operation is such that no one will feel the impact for a number of years," said Carl Hackman, a spokesman for the coalition.

Mr. Hackman said he was not surprised that the board ruled in favor of BGE. "They seem to be able to pull the necessary strings to support their needs," he said.

Mr. Hackman said the coalition remains hopeful that the County Council will pass a bill that would more tightly regulate BGE's Marley Neck fly ash fill. The coalition has been battling the utility company on the issue since September, he said.

Earlier this month, the coalition and the utility reached agreement on noise and operating hours at the facility. But they remain apart on the fly ash landfill's capacity and whether the property should be surrounded by a 200-foot buffer, Mr. Hackman said.

The board of appeals ruled that BGE must maintain an 80-foot buffer along Solley Road. The utility company also must leave existing vegetation undisturbed, and must add additional vegetation to achieve the 80-foot buffer.

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