|County Executive John R. Leopold Asks Governor Martin O'Malley to Halt Fly Ash Permit Pending Environmental Protection Agency and State Regulatory Action|
County Executive John R. Leopold today sent a written request to Governor Martin O'Malley urging him to delay granting approval of a permit that would allow the placement of fly ash at Baltimore City's Hawkins Point site.
"There is no greater priority than protecting public health. The Hawkins Point site is located less than 1,000 feet from the Anne Arundel County line," County Executive Leopold said. "The State has promulgated new regulations on soil but not on fly ash transportation. Now that the EPA has indicated that it may consider fly ash a hazardous material, it is my hope that Governor O'Malley will stay a decision to issue a permit to Constellation Energy allowing them to bury fly ash until the new EPA regulations and the State fly ash transportation regulations are adopted."
Using fly ash as reclamation material has caused great concern among many citizens of Anne Arundel County. In 2007, Mr. Leopold secured County Council approval on a ban of fly ash anywhere in the County when it was discovered that many homes in Gambrills experience well water contamination due to fly ash being buried in a nearby site. Residents later achieved a multi-million dollar settlement with Constellation Energy to mitigate property and ground water problems.
The State has passed legislation requiring additional regulations regarding the airborne hazards that result from the transportation of fly ash. However, adoption of those regulations is pending. Additionally, the EPA has proposed new regulations that would result in even stricter controls on the use of fly ash than those currently in place in Maryland.
If approved by the State, the proposal to allow fly ash at the Hawkins Point site allows for the acceptance of over four million cubic yards of fly ash material over the lifetime of the permit.