Air pollution results in $15,000 fine


A story in yesterday's Anne Arundel County Sun incorrectly reported the amount of hydrogen chloride that will be removed from emissions at Med-Net Inc., which burns about 8 tons of medical waste per day. New environmental controls, which will be operational June 1, will reduce the emissions from 110,000 pounds per year to 10,000 pounds annually.

A Baltimore medical waste incinerator has paid a $15,000 penalty for numerous air pollution violations last winter, a state official said yesterday.

Located just across the northern Anne Arundel County line, Med-Net Inc. was cited for allowing visible emissions to escape its smokestack and other operating permit violations, said Michael Sullivan, a spokesman for the Maryland Department of the Environment.

Most visible emissions, with the exception of steam, are not allowed, Sullivan said. They frequently signal other problems with the incinerator.

Med-Net's violations occurred between Nov. 21, 1991, and Jan. 29, 1992, Sullivan said.

Officials from Med-Net Inc. -- based in Miami, Fla. -- did not return a reporter's telephone calls.

Med-Net, which burns about 8 tons of medical waste a day at its 6-year-old Chemical Road plant, has had previous problems complying with the state's standards.

The company has spent $2.3 million since September 1990 to bring the plant into compliance with state air pollution laws, Sullivan said. The improvements, including the addition of a "dry scrubber," will reduce hydrogen chloride emissions and help prevent recurrences of the latest violations, he said.

The new controls, which will reduce hydrogen chloride emissions from 110,000 tons per year to 10,000 tons annually, will be operational June 1, Sullivan said. Hydrogen chloride is a byproduct of the incineration of plastics.

Med-Net is the smaller of two Hawkins Point incinerators. Medical Waste Associates has built a $26 million incinerator on ,, Hawkins Point Road, which can burn up to 150 tons per day.

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