Town to appeal Black & Decker water permit


The town of Hampstead is appealing the state's Nov. 19 decision to grant a water appropriation permit to Black & Decker (U.S.) Inc., and town officials want the Carroll County commissioners to join them in the appeal.

If it stands, the permit would allow Black & Decker to pump the full amount it had requested, an annual average of 432,000 gallons of ground water a day from 10 wells at its Hampstead plant.

The withdrawal is designed to contain the spread of underground contamination.

Water pumped will be cleaned and what is not used will be released into a nearby stream.

In a meeting with Hampstead Town Council members and the commissioners in the Hampstead Town Hall yesterday afternoon, Town Manager John A. Riley asked the commissioners to join the town in contesting the permit decision.

Town and county officials wrote to the Water Rights Division of the state Water Resources Administration during the public comment period before the permit was issued, saying the amount of water requested by Black & Decker was too large.

Mr. Riley said that Richard Murray, an attorney for the town of Hampstead, is drawing up papers to lodge an appeal with an administrative law judge.

The papers must be filed by Monday, he said.

The town's main argument is that the permit allows Black & Decker to withdraw an "unreasonable" amount of water, Mr. Riley said.

He said Hampstead officials were also disappointed that the permit does not spell out a monitoring plan that would give early warning if Black & Decker's pumping should affect ground water levels.

Commissioner Donald I. Dell said the commissioners would consult with County Attorney Charles W. "Chuck" Thompson Jr. about the appeal.

He said they would reach a decision on whether to join Hampstead in the appeal within a week or two.

Mr. Dell said he believes the commissioners will "probably" decide to appeal the decision.

Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad