County, pipeline discuss trees' fate

Company agrees to give two weeks' notice before destroying 102 trees

Anne Arundel

July 21, 2002|By Lynn Anderson | Lynn Anderson,SUN STAFF

Anne Arundel County officials are counting on Colonial Pipeline of Atlanta to give them two weeks' notice before the company destroys 102 trees to make it easier to monitor two underground liquid petroleum pipelines in Linthicum.

"They have agreed to do nothing in the next two weeks," Pam Jordan, a county spokeswoman, said Friday, noting that discussions are likely to continue.

The trees, some more than 100 years old, are in Andover Park. The grove shields the park's baseball fields from Baltimore-Washington International Airport, south of the park, said County Council Member Pamela G. Beidle, a Democrat who represents the Linthicum area and has been monitoring the situation since April.

Colonial officials are adamant that they need to remove the trees so that employees in airplanes can better monitor the lines, which are buried under 3 feet of soil. Pipeline officials have offered to erect a fence or a barrier to make up for the lost trees, said Grace McDougald, manager for community relations.

"That is the type of thing we have asked the county to consider," she said. "Once the trees are down and a fence goes up with vines and landscaping, it could be very attractive."

Jordan said that representatives with Colonial Pipeline are mulling a proposal previously offered by county Land Use Director Robert Walker.

At a recent meeting in the county, Walker asked pipeline officials to remove only those trees directly over the pipeline or those that are dead or dying. At the time, pipeline authorities argued that they needed to remove all the trees within their easement area to better monitor the pipeline, which serves BWI and other regional customers.

"I don't see why they can't walk the pipeline, but they said they don't want to start any exceptions," said Beidle, who also attended the July 12 meeting.

McDougald said that the trees must be removed in order to "protect the citizens of the area and the environment as well as our system." She said that Colonial Pipeline officials "have heard the county" and "would like to work with them to reach an agreement."

McDougald said officials with the pipeline would stay in close contact with the county during the next few weeks. "We will continue our discussions," she said. "And we will give them two weeks notice."

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