Foes of composting center sue, demand facility be closed

August 13, 1996|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,SUN STAFF

Opponents of a regional composting center on the Anne Arundel-Howard County line filed a $22 million lawsuit yesterday against the owner, operator, state and counties that created the facility, demanding that it be closed because it is making them ill.

Owners of eight Lennox Park homes in both counties allege the stench of rotting leaves and grass from the composting center is so pungent that it threatens their health and has devalued their homes. If the yard is not closed, the governments should be forced to buy the homes, said the suit, which was filed in Anne Arundel Circuit Court.

Residents have been contending for more than seven months that a yard waste compost center never should have been located so close to residential areas. Several children have gotten so sick they have been unable to play outside, pets have vomited and adults have fled their homes in search of fresh air.

"The question is, can the problem be fixed. And the answer is no, the problem cannot be fixed. It still stinks, and it will continue to stink," said Donald Davis, who lives on the Anne Arundel side of the compost yard. "That facility was put in the wrong place."

The 56-acre facility is a unique project by Anne Arundel, Howard and Baltimore counties. The yard is in the Dorsey area of Howard County and operated by Maryland Environmental Services, a quasi-public agency.

Nearby residents have lodged hundreds of foul-odor complaints.

Pub Date: 8/13/96

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