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County Grants Another Extension for Chesapeake Landfill

Operators had asked for two more years to implement plans for a rubble landfill and sand and gravel operation in southern Odenton.

Anne Arundel County has granted another two-year extension to a company proposing a landfill and gravel operation in Odenton, ruling that it should be permitted more time to obtain the state approval.

Despite objections from nearby residents and some community leaders, National Waste Managers Inc. will have at least two more years to obtain necessary permits from the state. It was first granted approval in 1993 and has received numerous extensions since. 

The landfill—commonly referred to as Chesapeake Terrace— would be placed on the south side of Patuxent Road, to the west of Bragers Road. There would also be a sand and gravel operation. 

In his ruling, county administrative hearing officer Douglas Hollman said the company has shown that it has been working diligently to get final approvals from the Maryland Department of Environment.  

At a hearing on Feb. 7, an official from MDE testified that the company is in the fourth stage of a five-stage approval process. He said operators have been responsive to comments and working toward fulfilling requirements. The county's Office of Planning and Zoning also testified in support of the extension. 

Opponents of the landfill have argued that the company has had adequate time to obtain the needed state permits to build.

At the Feb. 7 hearing, opponents included leaders from the Greater Odenton Improvement Association and several residents who live near the proposed site. They presented a letter from refuge manager from the United States Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, who argued that the land should be kept untouched. 

In his ruling, Hollman said he could not rule based on whether building the landfill was a good idea, or whether local residents supported or opposed it. 

He said much of the delay in receiving approvals was due to litigation brought by opponents and by changes to the state law. He said it was his view that the company has been "diligently pursuing" the needed permits. 

"The opposition is grounded on a belief that the applicant should not be allowed to develop the subject properties as a rubble landfill and as a sand & gravel operation because to do so would be environmentally unsound," he wrote. "However, I am limited to examining whether the applicant has met the burden ... to show that it has been prevented from going forward for reasons not attributable to its own conduct. I have no jurisdiction to revisit the original decisions and decide that what was granted then should be denied now."

Diane in Odenton February 23, 2013 at 12:55 PM
Extention?? Should be Extension.
Midge February 23, 2013 at 04:38 PM
Stope this stupid landfill.
Charlie February 24, 2013 at 02:44 AM
Go figure, who would have guessed that would have happened???
Dave February 24, 2013 at 12:51 PM
Why is AA County government capitulating the the idea that thousands of acres of landfill (between Chesapeake Terrace and Cunningham ) are inevitable? This area of West County neighboring Fort Meade has been dubbed "the Gold Coast" for its development potential. What is the point of having time limits on special exceptions to zoning law, if there is no ability to reconsider the new conditions? 20 years ago, there was no Piney Orchard, no BRAC, no Cyber Command. Why wouldn't these new conditions be taken into account?
Chris W February 24, 2013 at 06:27 PM
Hear hear. How many thousands more residents will be affected by this
Dave February 24, 2013 at 07:50 PM
Tim, With all the hundreds of acres of landfill that are planned in his district, have you contacted Mr. Benoit to get his opinion? I don't recall him ever taking a position on these landfills - specifically whether he would consider legislation that would allow the public to have a say in this process 20 years after these special exceptions were granted.

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