State expected to halt company's truck-washing Lawn service seeks wastewater permit

March 05, 1996|By Donna R. Engle | Donna R. Engle,SUN STAFF

The Maryland Department of the Environment is expected to tell a Westminster business today that it can't wash trucks in its service bay unless it installs a system to catch oil that could drain into the city's water supply.

The state agency will deny a permit to Westminster Lawn Service at a public meeting scheduled at 2 p.m. in the County Office Building, said Mark Jacobs, an MDE administrative officer.

The lawn service applied in August for a permit to discharge wastewater into underground water via a well and underground pipe.

Gavin Bullock, owner of Westminster Lawn Service, said he doesn't know how long he had been using the service bay to wash trucks before the MDE advised him that he needed a permit.

He said complaints from environmental activist Monroe G. Haines, who has crusaded for nearly a decade for a cleanup of Longwell Run, prompted MDE officials to require Mr. Bullock to apply for the discharge permit.

The MDE denied the permit because Mr. Bullock doesn't have a system to keep oil and other pollutants from draining into a limestone aquifer that supplies drinking water, said department spokesman Quentin W. Banks.

Mr. Banks said the lawn service's permit application concerned only ground water and was unrelated to Longwell Run, a small stream than runs through Westminster.

He said the seepage pit contained nothing to treat runoff or to keep oil from the trucks from seeping into the ground water.

Mr. Bullock said he doesn't know whether he will invest in a closed system to meet permit standards.

Pub Date: 3/05/96

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