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Meeting set in Bel Air on mining


A community meeting for Abingdon residents is scheduled Thursday in response to a controversial sand and gravel operation's efforts to resume mining on land it owns off Abingdon Road.

At issue is an appeal by Spencer Sand & Gravel Inc. of an administrative decision by the county planning department that said the company must have approval from the Board of Zoning Appeals to mine the land on the east side of Abingdon Road.

The site is next to a former rubble landfill operated by the company.

The 55-acre fill was closed by the state in 1992 after high levels of suspected carcinogens were found in monitoring wells.

The community meeting at 7:15 p.m. in County Council chambers in Bel Air is "strictly informational" for residents who might live near the rubble fill, said Bruce Wells, a community activist in Abingdon.

Mr. Wells said about 470 homes are within 500 feet of the property line of the Spencer operation.

In September 1994, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources granted John W. Spencer Jr., owner of the company, an extension of an existing permit to resume surface mining on an additional 18 acres on the condition that the proposed operation comply with Harford zoning requirements.

In November 1994, former Harford County Planning Director William Carroll informed Mr. Spencer that he could not resume mining without going before the Board of Zoning Appeals.

Mr. Spencer is appealing the ruling.

Three consecutive hearings on his appeal are scheduled before the county hearing examiner on May 8, 15 and 22.

A rubble landfill typically contains chunks of concrete and other construction debris.

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