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State mulling public comments on tentatively approved Odenton rubble landfill concrete crusher

Before the Maryland Department of Environment makes its decision on whether or not the Tolson Rubble Landfill in Odenton can operate a concrete crusher, it must review more than 150 public comments, a spokesman said Tuesday.

In November, Tolson applied for a permit from the state to install a 200-ton per hour crushing and screening operation, powered by five diesel engines. The department tentatively approved it, determining that the proposed operation wouldn’t violate air quality standards. A public hearing on the project was held May 22, and a public comment period closed Aug. 6.

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Neighbors oppose the intensification of operations at a facility they say already causes issues with noise, traffic and dust. County Executive Steuart Pittman has said he also opposes expanding operations, because the facility is surrounded by homes.

Tolson & Associates Vice President Mike Ensor said this spring that the crusher will allow them to recycle concrete into an aggregate product they can sell, while currently large chunks that can’t be broken down are going into the landfill.

He said they have operated the landfill for four years, and want to be good neighbors, offering up his email, me@pleasants.org, so people can contact him.

MDE spokesman Jay Apperson said that a document stating their final determination and responding to public comments will be sent to public officials and people who participated in the public process. He did not have a timeline for when the department would make its final determination and send that letter.

A draft of the permit on the department’s website lays out rules for operating the crusher, such as the use of a system that sprays water to capture particles that could otherwise drift onto other properties so it stays in compliance with particulate matter requirements. Ensor said they would install bars with spray nozzles that create a fine mist on the crusher, and use that system whenever it isn’t rainy out.

Among the concerns neighbors had were about the operating hours of the crusher. The draft permit limits use to 6,000 hours a year. Ensor said they won’t use the equipment every day and will stay within the site’s operating hours of 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday.

Information on the permit application can be found on the Maryland Department of Environment’s website, on the air and radiation permits home page.

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