We want your opinions

September 23, 2007

ISSUE:

Republican members of the Anne Arundel County Council fended off accusations of filibustering after their objections to legislation to ban the dumping of coal ash at new sites delayed a vote for two weeks.

After more than three hours of testimony and deliberations Monday night, the council appeared ready to vote with six minutes to go until midnight, the deadline to consider the emergency bill.

But comments by Council Chairman Ronald C. Dillon Jr., Councilman C. Edward Middlebrooks and Councilwoman Cathleen M. Vitale -- who voted unsuccessfully moments earlier to delay a vote for two weeks -- took up the rest of the time.

Vitale, a Severna Park Republican, said she supports the bill but expressed worry that a ban on fly ash could allow it to be dumped at the county landfill in Millersville.

Middlebrooks, a Severn Republican, said the bill amounts to "taking our problems and passing them off to other counties or other states."

The council, which tacked on a "sunset" provision Monday night that would end the ban after one year, will vote on the bill Oct. 1.

County Executive John R. Leopold, a Republican, proposed the legislation in July after the discovery of polluted drinking water near Constellation Energy's dumping site in Gambrills.

YOUR VIEW:

Will the bill -- which would have no effect on operations at site in Gambrills -- ensure the future safety of drinking water, or does it merely shift the fly ash problem to someplace else?

Tell us what you think at arundel.speakout@baltsun.com by Thursday. Please keep your responses short, and include your name, address and phone number. A selection will be printed next Sunday.

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