Group to monitor tainted-water probe CENTRAL * Union Mills * Westminster * Sandymount * Finksburg


A Silver Run citizens group, concerned about the cleanup of Pennsylvania landfill suspected of contaminating the citizens' drinking water, will form a task force tonight to oversee the

Environmental Protection Agency's efforts.

Susan Hardinger, president of People Against Contamination of the Environment Inc., said that although the EPA agreed to form the task force in January, the agency has done nothing other than ask Carroll and Adams County, Pa., commissioners to chair the group.

The federal agency agreed to form the task force at the urging of Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski. PACE members, dissatisfied with the EPA's efforts in cleaning up the Keystone Sanitation Landfill in Union Township, asked the Maryland Democrat to intervene.

"Senator Mikulski and the EPA decided it would be a good thing for us to have a task force," Mrs. Hardinger said. "We thought it was a good idea, too, but, as usual, nothing has happened. We're trying to get the ball rolling."

Donna Santiago, the EPA's project manager for the cleanup, could not be reached for comment yesterday. She and other EPA officials are expected to attend tonight's meeting.

Unlike the citizens group, the task force will include representatives from local and state government and the EPA, Mrs. Hardinger said. The committee's makeup will be discussed at the 7 p.m. meeting at St. Mary's United Church of Christ in Silver Run.

Mrs. Hardinger said PACE members want Union Township officials, instead of Adams County commissioners, to chair the committee along with the Carroll commissioners.

Carroll Commissioner Elmer C. Lippy said the commissioners support the creation of a task force and agreed with PACE members that Union Township officials should chair the committee.

"Since the township has expressed much more interest in the landfill problem all along, they should be given membership on the task force," Mr. Lippy said.

PACE and the EPA have been meeting monthly to discuss aspects of the cleanup.

The landfill is about a quarter-mile over the county line in Pennsylvania. Keystone was named a Superfund site in 1987.

Pennsylvania residents found contaminants in their wells about a decade ago. Silver Run residents found contaminants in their wells a year later.

No cleanup has begun at the 35-acre landfill. The EPA has been working with 11 polluters to develop a plan to cap part of the landfill.

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