County Executive John R. Leopold to Submit Emergency Legislation to Protect Public from Groundwater Contamination
Annapolis, MD (July 31, 2007) - Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold announced today that he will submit emergency legislation to the County Council that will make it illegal to dispose of combustion ash or "coal fly ash" anywhere in the county. County Executive Leopold will also ask Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Shari T. Wilson to classify combustion ash as a hazardous waste.
"Approximately nine months ago, the Anne Arundel County Department of Heath conducted an investigation of suspected contamination of water in private wells near the BBSS mining site in Gambrills, Md.," said the County Executive. "Of 83 wells tested by the Department of Health, 23 were found to have contaminants at or above federal and state safe drinking water standards."
"As a result of this testing by the Anne Arundel County Health Department, it is necessary to add new regulations regarding the use of combustion ash as a material to fill land," said County Executive John R. Leopold. "The legislation I will submit to the council will protect residents from the contamination of groundwater by hazardous materials."
All of the test results generated by the Department of Health have also been reported to MDE which regulates the BBSS mining operation. The Department of Heath concluded that continued use of combustion ash as fill for mine reclamation presents a potential health risk and recommended that emergency measures are necessary to protect public health and safety.