County revokes grading permit for landfill

September 04, 1994|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,Sun Staff Writer

Anne Arundel County officials have revoked the grading permit they issued earlier this summer to allow Browning-Ferris Industries to reseal its leaking hazardous waste landfill on Solley Road.

The action throws into question whether the waste-hauling company can obtain a new county permit -- and fend off a likely challenge -- in time to begin work this fall.

Environmental protections at the site are failing, and cancer-causing chemicals have permeated ground water that is moving north and west toward Marley Creek. The landfill was closed in 1982.

The permit was rescinded last month, two days before a challenge was to be heard by the Board of Appeals. County officials learned that the company did not have permits from the state Department of the Environment for all of the work, said Frank Ward, head of the county's permit application center.

"They didn't have that and still don't," he said Friday.

While the appeal was pending in August, Mr. Ward asked the company to clarify several questions about materials it proposed to use in the new seal.

BFI is proposing to reseal the two leaking trash hills with a controversial cap that includes a layer of chipped tires and sludge mixed with dirt.

The company has the green light from the federal Environmental Protection Agency to recap the two trash hills. The EPA also has some jurisdiction over the site, EPA officials have said, but disturbance of the site also requires county approval.

BFI officials could not be reached Friday.

Mr. Ward said BFI had not applied for a new grading permit and that the work BFI project manager Jill R. Nelson originally had hoped to start in July might have to be delayed until spring.

John Blumenthal, who owns an adjacent property and whose Board of Appeals challenge became moot, is proposing to build 738 homes on his land next to Marley Creek and has been embroiled in fights with Houston-based BFI for several years. Traces of contamination have shown up in ground water taken from test wells on his land, he said.

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