Prince William County supervisors refused Tuesday to endorse a controversial plan to have a state board select toxic waste dump sites in Virginia, saying it undermined the power of local government.
Supervisors also announced during their Tuesday meeting that they have selected a site they will promote for the proposed Center for Innovative Technology, a high-technology study institute to be built in Northern Virginia.
County Attorney John Foote told the supervisors the state had drawn up the controversial toxic waste sites plan in case the federal government decided to take over the toxic dump sites' decision-making process.
"You may have some say on a state level," he told. "But you will have no input on a federal level."
Supervisors said they would prefer a state site selection committee over a federal committee but objected to the proposed plan because it gives local government too little power to prohibit a toxic waste dump from being placed in its jurisdiction.
A regional public hearing on the toxic-waste dump plan is scheduled to be held in Prince William County today.
Foote said local governments have been refusing to allow toxic waste dumps in the area, prompting the state and federal government to get involved.
The county's choice for the new Center for Innovative Technology is 750 acres of land off I-66 in the western part of the county.
Most of the land is owned by the Marriott Corp., which has not indicated whether it is willing to sell or donate the land for the center, county spokesman Michael P. Gleason said.
"Discussions are continuing with the property owners as to their response to the project," he said.
Prince William announced this summer it will make an aggressive bid for the proposed center. A spokesman from the governor's office in Richmond said a committee will be formed to select a center site later this year.
In other business, the supervisors requested the State Water Control Board to consider the cause of algae on the Potomac River and to recommend ways to clean it.
Supervisors also asked the county staff to draw up a proposal that would allow small warehouses to be built in business districts. The warehouses, which are rented to businesses and apartment dwellers, are now allowed only in areas zoned for manufacturing uses.
After the meeting, assistant county executive Richard Noble met with the president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference's Virginia chapter and black county residents who have complained about the county's hiring practices.
Group spokeswoman Lorene Jackson said some county residents have filed complaints against the county with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
But she and Curtis Harris, president of the local SCLC, said the meeting with Noble was informative and productive.