The Lehigh Portland Cement Co. is waiting for state permission to burn used tires for fuel at the company's Union Bridge plant.
Town Councilman Donald Wilson told the county commissioners Monday that the company expects the permit to be issued in September.
"We've been waiting since March for this, but the bureaucracy has gone on and on and on," said Mr. Wilson, a Lehigh employee as well as the council liaison to the plant. "If we received it [the permit] now, with all the waiting periods and advertising we'd have to do, we wouldn't get the equipment in until November.
"If we get the permit in September, it will be December before we get the equipment installed," he said. "It will be Christmas before it starts working."
Commissioners Donald I. Dell, Julia W. Gouge and Elmer C. Lippy learned about the status of Lehigh's tire-burning plan at a quarterly meeting with members of the Town Council in the Union Bridge Community Center.
Lehigh has been seeking approval for several years from the Maryland Department of the Environment to burn tires as a fuel in cement kilns. The company hopes to replace 18 percent to 20 percent of its fuel with tires.
Mr. Wilson said trucks will haul tires from around the state to Lehigh's plant on Main Street. The state will be responsible for getting the tires to the plant, where they will be burned in large on-site kilns.
The kilns will burn only pickup truck and passenger car tires.