Frederick County looking for new incinerator partners.
There's been some movement regarding the proposed waste-to-energy incinerator. Both Frederick and Carroll Counties, which signed an agreement to build the facility in 2009, could be going their separate ways regarding trash disposal.
In June, the Carroll County Commissioners wrote a letter to their counterparts in Frederick County suggesting both jurisdictions go their separate ways when it comes to the incinerator. Earlier this month, the Frederick County Commissioners wrote back, saying Carroll County could consider other alternatives besides the trash-burning facility, while Frederick County will be looking for other partners.
Former Frederick County Commissioner Kai Hagen, an opponent of the incinerator, says he's not surprised at Carroll County's decision. He says the Commissioners there ran in the election on a platform opposing the facility. "None of them did so because of their concerns about the environmental affects or public health affects," he says. "It really came down to their evaluation of the economic risks."
The waste-to-energy incinerator is estimated to cost $221-million, with Carroll County picking up 40% of the cost. If it pulls out, and Frederick County couldn't find a new partner, Carroll County could be on the hook for $3-million. In its letter, Frederick County says it's willing to look for other partners and spare Carroll County the cost of pulling out of the agreement.
The facility is planned for Buckeystown inside the McKinney Industrial Park.
Supporters say the incinerator is necessary because Frederick County is running out of landfill space, and it could generate revenue and create jobs. Hagen disputes that. "When you use at the projections that were used for the economic model upon which a lot of the support for this project was based, the numbers are only looking worse and worse," Hagen says, calling the project "a big money sink."
Hagen says other ways to deal with trash and garbage include more recycling, reuse and composting.
A meeting on the incinerator hosted by the Maryland Department of the Environment is scheduled for Wednesday, August 22nd at 6:00 PM at the C. Burr Artz Library in downtown Frederick.