Citizens have until May 20th to submit written testimony.
It's not too late if you haven't submitted a comment to the Maryland Department of the Environment regarding the proposed waste to energy plant for Frederick County. MDE has extended the comment period to May 20th. "This is really due to the significant public interest in the proposed project," says spokesman Jay Apperson.
The original deadline was March 20th, but Apperson says MDE received so many written and oral comments and needs time to go through them. "Because of the volume of comments that we have received, and the time that's required to properly consider these comments and prepare written responses to them, we know that the department would not be in a position to make final determination on these pending permit applications before the close of this extended comment period in May," he says.
The waste to energy plant is proposed for the McKinney Industrial Park off of Route 85 south of Frederick. If it's approved, it would be owned by the Northeast Maryland Waste Disposal Authority, and operated by Wheelabrator Technologies, which is based in New Hampshire. The facility, which is expected to cost $386-million, is a joint venture between Frederick and Carroll Counties, with Frederick County paying 60% of the cost, and Carroll County chipping in 40%. But there are indications Carroll County may pull out.
Supporters say burning the trash will help save on space at the Frederick County landfill, and generate electricity at the same time. But opponents say it will pollute the air with toxins, such as PCB, dioxin, formaldehyde, sulfur dioxide and carbon monoxide, and bring in a lot of truck traffic 24-hours a day, seven days a week along Route 85. They want the two counties to consider generating less trash, and do more recycling.
Anyone who wants to comment can send their thoughts by US Mail to Shannon Heafey, Public Communications Coordinator, Air and Radiation Management Administration, Maryland Department of the Environment, 1800 Washington Boulevard, Baltimore, Md., 21230. Or they can sent an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
General information can be obtained by calling Ms. Heafey at 410-537-3557.
There are three applications to build this waste to energy plant, and anyone who wants to address the air permit can call Shannon Heafey with the Air Management Administration at 410-537-3557. They can also call Kavch Hosseinzadeh with the Land Management Administration at 410-537-3315 to talkabout the land permit, or Michael Richardson with the Water Management Administration at 410-537-3323 to discuss the water permit.
Apperson says it's hard to say when MDE will have a final decision on these applications after the comment period has ended. "There's no real time frame for that. We're going to review and provide written response as part of our final determination for all of the applications," he says.