State environmental engineers plan a "priority" investigation into whether hazardous materials were dumped near homes in Webster, a community near Havre de Grace, and whether ground water has been contaminated.

The site under investigation is a 9.8 acre property on GravelHill Road where Long's Septic Services operated in the 1960s, said John Goheen, a spokesman for the state Department of Environment.

Goheen said Long's Septic Services, which is no longer in business, accepted sewage, liquid waste and residue from cesspools during the 1960s.

"At that particular time, cesspool waste could include chemicals used to clean cesspools, which is hazardous material," Goheensaid.

Acting on a tip from U.S. Sen. Paul Sarbanes, D-Maryland, Department of Environment engineers conducted a preliminary assessmentof the Gravel Hill Road site that concluded in August 1990, said John Goheen, a spokesman for DOE.

"The information proved to be credible enough for us to continue the investigation," said Goheen. "The site investigation is to begin sometime this year. We consider this a priority project."

The site under investigation is 1,250 feet fromthe site of a proposed rubble and asbestos dump.

Brigid Smith, a field representative for Sarbanes in Baltimore, said citizens who opposed the rubble fill contacted the senator.

"We were contacted as a result of constituents' concerns about a proposed rubble fill," Smith said. "They made reference to allegations that potentially hazardous materials had been dumped in the vicinity of the rubble fill site."

Smith said Sarbanes contacted the state Department of the Environment and the federal Environmental Protection Agency about the allegations.

Goheen said a site investigation would include testing soil and ground water samples.

"It's at the top of our priority list," said Goheen. "We're concerned because a lot of people in that areause ground water as a drinking source."

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