A Hawkins Point chemical manufacturer will plead its case tonight for an industrial waste landfill just across the North County line.
SCM Chemicals wants permission from the Maryland Department of the Environment to build a 95-acre dump at Fort Smallwood and Fort Armistead roads.
An administrative hearing officer will meet with the public at 7 tonight in the Curtis Bay Recreation Center, located at Curtis Avenue and Filbert Street in Baltimore.
North County activists have fought for two years to block part of the landfill, which they fear will destroy a 20-acre stand of trees along Fort Smallwood Road. Baltimore City approved zoning for the landfill in 1990.
Mary Rosso, a Silver Sands resident, said the tree stand is the last buffer between SCM, which manufactures white pigment, and the Pasadena and Glen Burnie communities.
"We at least need to leave the trees there," said Rosso. "Otherwise, unless you bring your gas mask with you, you can forget it.
"I'm not a major tree-hugger or anything. I'm just saying, this is all that's keeping me and my neighbors breathing when we drive past there," said Rosso, who is president of Maryland Waste Coalition, a non-profit environmental group.
Rosso's group, the MDE, and the federal Environmental Protection Agency successfully sued SCM during the 1980s for violating clean-air laws, releasing sulfuric acid into the atmosphere and polluting the Chesapeake Bay.
SCM officials have said they need the landfill to dump waste gypsum, bricks and iron oxide because the city's Quarantine Road facility is expected to close soon. During previous meetings with the public, SCM officials have promised to leave a 50-foot buffer around the landfill.