After years of neglect, the air-filtration system at the long-dormant Monument Street Landfill in East Baltimore has been replaced, and the city has begun monitoring air and water near the landfill, officials said.
The action came after the Maryland Department of Environment threatened the city last month with unspecified "enforcement action" if it did not replace carbon canisters used to treat methane and other gases rising from the landfill within 15 days.
The 19 canisters were replaced between Aug. 21 and Aug. 23, the Department of Public Works said.
The canisters become saturated and ineffective after six months, but the city had not replaced them for at least two years. A state environmental official had warned that the escaping methane could pose a health threat to the community. Until last month, city officials had not been taking air quality measurements and ,, could not dispute the state's contention.
On Aug. 9, the city began the first air and water monitoring in two years, according to a letter written to the state by Leonard H. Addison, head of the Department of Public Works solid waste bureau. Early results indicate no health threat, according to department sources.
Department of Public Works director George G. Balog said last month that replacement of the canisters was not influenced by the state's letter. He said the canisters were being replaced as part of a review of city landfills he ordered in November 1995.
The landfill, at 3600 Monument St., is toxic because of clandestine, illegal dumping of chemical wastes in the 1970s. Many of those chemicals came into the landfill on city trucks, according to an independent 1983 study.
Pub Date: 9/08/96