Millersville landfill in compliance with standards

February 04, 2010

In response to the article "Odor Complaints at Millersville landfill on the rise" (Jan. 31), I am writing to further inform readers about the ongoing efforts of the Department of Public Works in regards to our neighbors' concerns.

Since January of 2009, during normal operating hours and non-operating hours, the Maryland Department of the Enviornment conducted 30 investigations relating to our neighbors concerns and only detected off-site odors on three occasions. They classified the odors as "very slight." They are aware of our efforts to mitigate potential odors and communicated them to concerned neighbors in a recent letter.

Our landfill is subject to monitoring of surface emissions to detect methane, which is a component of landfill gas. The last testing occurred in December 2009. Close to 400 locations on the active disposal cell were tested. None exceeded regulatory limits.

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) issued a letter summarizing its review of odor complaints and actions taken by MDE, which regulates the landfill. There was no data that would suggest the need for ATSDR to conduct any type of health assessment.

The Millersville landfill is a model for landfill operations in the state. The landfill is in complete compliance with our MDE-regulated permit. We have been filling in the current disposal cell since 1992 and project the cell to be closed in 2014.

Our staff will always take our citizens' concerns seriously and respond immediately. To the extent we can do more, we will continue to implement suggestions provided by MDE.

Ronald Bowen, Annapolis

The writer is director of the Anne Arundel County Department of Public Works.

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