Bill would restrict rubble dumped in landfills Size of material would be limited

March 17, 1998|By Gerard Shields | Gerard Shields,SUN STAFF

Members of the City Council's 6th District last night introduced a bill that would put tighter restrictions on what gets thrown into landfills throughout Baltimore.

The bill reduces the amount of rubble allowed in excavated soil dumped into landfills from 10 percent to 1 percent.

The bill also would reduce the size of material permitted in the waste from 1 foot in diameter to 2 inches.

The measure follows complaints from dozens of Southwest Baltimore residents over permits granted in October to a contractor allowed to dump excavated soil into a 20-plus acre abandoned quarry at 2900 W. Baltimore St. near the Gwynns Falls.

City officials said the site would only be used to dump soil, but residents feared that the quarry would become a landfill for construction debris.

Although the council bill introduced last night would not affect permits granted to Potts and Callahan Inc., 6th District Councilman Norman A. Handy Sr. said the tighter restrictions on soil would assure residents that construction debris would not be dumped in their neighborhoods.

"This bill is simply to address the question of when a landfill is a landfill," Handy said. "This is to clear up a glitch in the system so communities can know what's coming."

Last month, a group of Southwest Baltimore residents marched in the rain outside City Hall, demanding a meeting with Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke over the permits. But because the quarry would only handle excavated soil, state landfill permits and public hearings weren't required, city planning officials said in a letter.

The issue resurrected tensions over a successful, yet hard-fought battle by the same residents against the city in 1995 to prevent a rubble landfill and recycling center at the abandoned quarry.

Residents protested the Potts and Callahan permit, fearing that the quarry will handle the excavated material from two new planned hotels in the city.

Council members supporting the bill said that although it won't alleviate concerns over the quarry site, the bill can help with future dumping concerns.

"This will hopefully close the gap on surprises showing up in our neighborhoods," said Councilman Melvin Stukes, also of the 6th District.

Pub Date: 3/17/98

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