BFI aims to relocate water cleanup

November 03, 1994|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,Sun Staff Writer

Browning-Ferris Industries, owner of the leaking hazardous waste landfill off Solley Road, is proposing to rebuild and relocate its failed system to purify contaminated ground water and return the water to the ground.

The existing system, installed last year and shut down in March because it did not operate properly, was designed to pump contaminated water from the ground near the middle of the 65-acre landfill and reinject cleaned water near its western edge.

In its plan submitted to the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) this week, the company is proposing to return the purified water to the ground near its eastern boundary, by Solley Road, the opposite side of the landfill from where ground water is leaving the landfill.

"Isn't that nice? Whatever happened to not disturbing the area residents?" Ruth Bell, former vice president of the Lombardee Beach Community Association, asked sarcastically. "I can't envision why if it didn't work at one location it would work at another."

Mrs. Bell said she wants the state to hold a hearing or meeting for the community on BFI's proposal.

But that probably won't happen. "There is nothing that compels a public hearing, public meeting at this stage of the game with this plan that has been submitted," said Sandra Palmer, MDE spokeswoman.

Mrs. Bell said that even though the water would be returned to the aquifer from which it came, she is concerned that the eastern location for reinjection could push contaminated ground water into the surrounding neighborhood.

"What we didn't want to do was put it by the plume [of contamination]," Jill Nelson, BFI project manager for the site, said yesterday of the proposed reinjection location.

She said the Houston-based company believes it can work out the problems in the system.

"We want to try one well first," she said.

The company has proposed starting with one test site before Thanksgiving, then increasing the reinjection wells over four months.

The three failed reinjection sites near Marley Neck Boulevard were next to a plume of ground water contaminated by the cancer-causing solvent trichloroethene. The plume has moved across Marley Neck Boulevard, and the property owner has sued BFI for $100 million.

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