County Executive Praises Council's Support for Extending Fly Ash Ban
Annapolis (August 5, 2008) - County Executive John R. Leopold today praised the Anne Arundel County Council for their unanimous support of legislation that would extend the fly ash ban in the County until October, 2009. The current ban was set to expire in October, 2008. The extension will allow the state Department of Environment to put permanent regulations in place regarding fly ash placement in Maryland.
"This is an important environmental and health matter for Anne Arundel County and I am very pleased that the Council has moved expeditiously to extend the current ban," County Executive Leopold said. "We have moved in tandem to protect the health of Anne Arundel County citizens and our environment. I am hopeful that this extension will give the state enough time to get the necessary regulations in place to protect Marylanders from this harmful, carcinogenic hazard."
The County Executive continued, "The most certain way to protect public health is the prohibition of fly ash deposition anywhere in the County, especially because of porous, sandy soil like that which exists at the BBSS Gambrills site. Regulations that require a liner and a leachate removal system may not adequately provide the needed protections. While we are hopeful for federal and state action that would classify fly ash as a hazardous material, this Administration cannot wait until that happens to protect the health of Anne Arundel County citizens."
In August, 2007, County Executive Leopold introduced an Emergency Ordinance prohibiting the deposit of combustion ash at any County location, which was amended by the County Council to expire after one year on October 1, 2008.
Fly ash production continues at the Wagner/Brandon Shores plant operated by Constellation Energy.
The Maryland Department of Environment proposed regulations dealing with fly ash placement in December, 2007. At the County Executive’s direction, Fran Phillips of the County’s Department of Health offered recommendations to strengthen the draft regulations which were deficient because they did not include a requirement for on-going air quality testing, inadequate requirements for public and County notification, no requirement for independent laboratory analysis, an insufficient property set-back requirement, and no requirement for testing for radioactive contamination which has been detected elsewhere.