Draft permit for treatment plant is near

Hearing to be held later on discharge of treated sewage

Release in stream rejected

Facility at Key High illegally constructed

idle since June 1998

Union Bridge

January 03, 2001|By Brenda J. Buote | Brenda J. Buote,SUN STAFF

Carroll officials expect to receive this week a draft of the state discharge permit the county needs to operate the idle wastewater treatment plant at Francis Scott Key High School near Union Bridge.

After the draft permit is issued, state officials will hold a hearing - as early as next month - to give members of the community an opportunity to comment before the Maryland Department of the Environment makes a final decision, the commissioners were told yesterday.

If approved, the discharge permit would allow the county to release treated sewage from the plant - a $786,000 facility the school system built without required state permits - into nearby wetlands, said Doug Myers, county director of public works.

County officials, working under guidelines established in a permit that Maryland Environment Department officials issued in August, had also considered releasing the treated sewage into a stream.

The commissioners rejected the stream option last month, in part, because the county has started designing the wetlands system and changing course could require an amendment to Carroll's water and sewerage master plan.

School and county officials have been searching for two years for a permanent place to release treated wastewater from the school plant, which was built illegally without required construction and environmental permits, prompting lawsuits, investigations and a $10,000 fine by the state for construction of the plant.

The facility has sat idle since its completion in July 1998. It now is a temporary holding tank while the school system hauls raw sewage from the school to the wastewater treatment plant at Runnymede Elementary near Taneytown.

In other business, the commissioners rezoned for industrial use 36.7 acres of farmland for industrial use. The property lies at the southern end of the county, on the west side of Route 97, south of Hoods Mill Road.

At the request of Freedom Area Citizens Council, the commissioners are considering naming a road in South Carroll for Baltimore County Police Sgt. Bruce A. Prothero, who was killed while working a second job to supplement his income. He was 35. Prothero's widow, Ann, and their five children live in Carrolltowne.

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