SpeakoutWe want youropinions

September 26, 2007

SpeakoutWe want youropinions

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 Sept. 17, the council appeared ready to vote six minutes before 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 had 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 concern 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 amounted to "taking our problems and passing them off to other counties or other states."

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

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

YOUR VIEW:

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

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

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