"State Approves Coal Ash Landfill In South Baltimore"

"State environmental officials approved new coal-ash landfill in southeast Baltimore Tuesday, saying "state-of-the-art" pollution controls there should allay nearby residents' fears that the power plant waste will blow into their neighborhoods and leak into the Patapsco River.

After more than a year of deliberation, the Maryland Department of the Environment authorized the disposal of up to 650,000 tons of ash in a specially prepared section of a chemical company landfill at Hawkins Point. Robert M. Summers, the agency's acting secretary, said in a statement that two-year-old regulations for new ash landfills should prevent any harm to public health or the environment.

The ash landfill, to be operated by Millennium Inorganic Chemicals, is the first new disposal site for power plant waste to be approved in the state since 2007. That's when officials discovered that some Gambrills residents' wells had been contaminated with toxic chemicals from ash that Constellation Energy had been dumping in old quarries in the area. The company paid a $1 million fine to the state and reached a $54 million out-of-court settlement with residents."

Timothy B. Wheeler reports for the Baltimore Sun January 4, 2011.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011