The town of Mount Airy has joined residents in their opposition to Shell Oil Co.'s proposal to build a gas station and carwash south of the Interstate 70 interchange.
The Town Council decided to oppose the station because of concerns of possible water contamination.
The site of the proposed station is near the watershed of one of the eight wells that supply Mount Airy's drinking water.
The Frederick County Board of Zoning Appeals is scheduled to hear Shell's request for a gas station and carwash on a 0.69-acre site at Route 144 and Lakeview Drive at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
The hearing, an appeal of a Frederick County planning commission decision denying the station, will be held in Winchester Hall, 12 E. Church St., Frederick.
The council's action came this month after Donald R. Maxey, a Mount Airy resident who has studied local geology, argued that gasoline, dirty water from the carwash and waste from the station's septic tank could seep into fractured rock that carries water underground.
Opponents have said possible pollution could affect the watershed and Parrs Spring, headwaters of the Patapsco River.
To illustrate, Maxey and his wife, Anne, showed the council their "scale model," a piece of quartz Maxey found in a field near the proposed gas station. Anne Maxey dripped water into a fissure in the stone and droplets soon emerged from holes in the side and base.
Town Planner Monika Jenkins declined to make the council's letter to the appeals board public yesterday without authorization from Mayor Gerald R. Johnson, who was unavailable. She said the letter supports the planning commission decision.
The commission based its denial on "inadequate and inaccurate information," which left Shell the option of submitting a new application with additional ground water information.
The company chose instead to appeal the denial.
Shell Oil representatives told the commission in March that the Mount Airy site was the only one they could find off Interstate 70 between Baltimore and Frederick, a market they are eager to enter.
Pub Date: 6/20/97