UNION BRIDGE - An informational meeting and a formal hearing by the Maryland Department of the Environment are set for January over whether Lehigh Portland Cement Co. can burn a new type of fuel in its kilns.

DOE and Lehigh will have an informational meeting at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 22 in the Union Bridge Community Center, at which they will describe the material to be burned, as well as the procedures to be used at the 6:30 p.m. Jan. 25 hearing, also in the center.

Lehigh has requested a permit to burn a waste material called "spent" carbon, which is used by other industries to filter water.

Industries must get a permit from the state before changing the fuel they burn. Department spokesman Michael Sullivan said there would be no substantial difference in emissions than with the coal Lehigh now burns primarily.

Union Bridge Mayor Edward Williar requested the public hearing.

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