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People who live near the Harford Waste to Energy facility in Joppa are still upset about plans to expand the facility, and they want the Harford County Council to know it.

“It’s a win-win for the Army. It’s a win-win for the county. It’s a lose-lose for all the people on that road, the little community living on Magnolia Road,” Stephen Young, who lives on Magnolia Road, said during Tuesday’s council legislative session.

Young is opposed to the expansion, which would increase the capacity of the incinerator from 360 tons to 1,500 tons of solid waste daily.

Harford County government, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Baltimore County government, Northeast Maryland Waste Disposal Authority and a vendor for design, building and operation, which has not been selected yet, are project participants in the expansion.

Ken Anderson, who also lives on Magnolia Road in Joppa, said the existing facility is making it hard for him to breathe.

“What’s going to happen to us later down the road?” Anderson asked the council. “Are we going to get cancer?”

The handful of people who live near the incinerator and attended Tuesday’s legislative session are in favor of the county and the Army building a road off Route 24 for trucks to access the facility and take traffic off Magnolia Road.

“If they have $400 million to build the plant, they should be able to find money to build that road,” Anderson said. “Try to understand our point of view with all the noises and the dust.”

Ted Anderson, who also lives on Magnolia Road, gave the council members a history lesson: “Twenty years ago, one of the council members told me personally we would not haul any trash through here other than Harford County. Twenty years later, what are we doing?”

Anderson also said he has breathing problems.

“We have to breathe this stuff every day and every night, so I encourage you all to get on board with our representative,” he said.

Anderson’s representative, Councilman Dion Guthrie, whose district includes Edgewood and Joppa, said he has received many phone calls and e-mails from concerned citizens about the expansion of the facility.

On Feb. 17, Guthrie asked the council to hold bills 09-04 and 09-05, which concern the incinerator expansion, until after a public meeting at Magnolia Middle School to discuss the expansion on Feb. 18.

“Unless the road is cut in, I will not support this bill,” Guthrie said during Tuesday’s legislative session.

Guthrie also opposes allowing trucks running from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m.

“It’s not fair to people who live in that area,” Guthrie said. “It’s not only daylight hours. It’s 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. six days a week. I don’t know how you’re going to live with those trucks going up and down the road.”

Currently, there are 66 trucks going in and out of the facility each day. When the expanded facility reaches is full capacity, Bob Cooper, Harford County director of public works, expects 137 trucks from Harford Count and 49 trucks from Baltimore County each day.

Barbara Metzbower, who lives on Fort Hoyle Road, submitted a petition from residents in the Magnolia community.

Her petition including the following amendments to the bills: extend Route 24 into the facility; close the existing Magnolia Road entrance; the facility would only receive trash from Baltimore and Harford counties; there would be no trucks between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m.; $1.50 of the $3.50 tipping fee would be used for the Magnolia area; the facility would be tested quarterly and a possible tax break for residents living near the facility.

Brenda Whitaker of Woodbridge has parents who live on Magnolia Road and she supports Metzbower’s amendments.

“My fear today is for my parents’ health, for people who live on that road and their health,” Whitaker said. “I really hope you guys consider all of the people who live on the road and all their children.”

Four bills were introduced at Tuesday’s county council meeting:

o Bill 09-06 to provide for the adoption of the Spring 2009 Master Water and Sewer Plan Update and to submit said plan to the Maryland Department of the Environment.

o Bill 09-07 to abolish the Joppatowne Sanitary Subdistrict of the Water and Sewer Plan due to retirement of the debt.

o Bill 09-08 to repeal and reenact, with amendments, the definitions of “multiple-use sewerage system” and “multiple-use water-supply system” and add the definitions of “small multiple-use sewerage system” and “small multiple-use water-supply system” to Section 256-1 of the Water and Sewer Plan.

o Bill 09-09 to make a supplemental appropriation to the grant fund to cover an increase in the amount of grants being received from the federal government in fiscal year 2009.

o Bill 09-10 to provide that the county’s capital program be adopted by the county council and to provide that any changes to the capital program be approved by the county council.

All of the bills will have a public hearing scheduled for April 7 at 6:30 p.m.

Also during Tuesday’s meeting, the council approved the appointments of Charles E. Day III and Alex Patel to the Economic Development Tourism Advisory Board.

The next county council meeting will be March 10 at 7:30 p.m. in the council chambers in Bel Air.


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