The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency entered the Laytonsville landfill controversy yesterday, agreeing to evaluate the safety of the planned dump because of "serious concerns" of Beverly Byron, Maryland congresswoman for the area.
Chris Capper, special assistant to EPA Administrator Anne Gorsuch, said, "We are looking at it because it is a congressional request." The action is rare since the EPA's jurisdiction mainly lies with hazardous, and not sanitary, landfills.
Byron said she made the request because "I'm still convinced we are making a mistake" in opening the landfill.
In another development, Laytonsville residents said yesterday that they have found a dump in Maryland that will take the county's waste until a liner can be built for the Laytonsville dump.
A spokesman for Browning-Ferris Industries, which operates 78 hazardous and sanitary landfills across the country, said yesterday that their Norris Farm landfill in Baltimore County can handle all of the county's trash.
The Montgomery County Council is scheduled to vote today on whether to appropriate money to open the dump June 1 or construct a clay or plastic liner first. Council members Rose Crenca and Michael Gudis, who support the idea of a liner, endorsed the idea of using a temporary dump.
Council member Scott Fosler said the offer might solve the problem of closing the county's current landfill in Rockville. The state's health department has ordered that landfill closed because it is overloaded.
But Councilman David Scull and Council President Neal Potter, who oppose a liner as unnecessary expense, said it would cost much more to haul waste to Baltimore County.