Thursday, February 2, 2012

Old Maryland Dump Lives On

By: Duane Craig

Montgomery County, Md., is considering ways to deal with contamination from its oldest dump, according to this article on Gazette.Net. But first, it had to trade other land to the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission for 16.5 acres of Rock Creek Park. That acreage was mistakenly used as part of the dump up until 1982 when it closed.

In 2009, the Maryland Department of the Environment found water quality below state standards in the area of the dump, and after further investigation, it discovered trash had been buried 250 feet beyond the dump's northeast boundary. The dump is known as the Gude Landfill, and it is slated for cleanup action once officials decide what that will involve. Contaminants at the landfill and in the local groundwater include trichloroethene, or TCE, vinyl chloride, lead, mercury and arsenic.

In the nearby neighborhoods of Derwood Station and Hollybrooke, a group of concerned citizens says government officials are downplaying the risks of the contamination but are moving in the right direction to get the contamination cleaned up. Options on the table include removing the trash or capping it and leaving it in place. The county's environmental department will provide a study to the state environment department in November. The state will then decide what cleanup actions to take.

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