In "The Trashing of Lorton -- Why Extend the Life of the Dump?" {Close to Home, Aug. 19}, Laurie Frost of the Lorton community argued against the expansion of the I-95 landfill at Lorton. The neighbors of the landfill are justified in feeling burdened with more than their share of the region's waste problems. Nevertheless, the article contained a number of misleading and inaccurate statements.

The allegation that leachate from the landfill may be polluting the Occoquan River, and ultimately the Potomac River and the Chesapeake Bay, is unfounded. Water samples from the stream that passes through the prison's dairy farm and through the landfill show high levels of the primary pollutant of concern, fecal coliform, before (and after) passing through the landfill.

Frost says the Fairfax Board of Supervisors chose not to consider alternative methods of waste disposal, including more aggressive recycling and waste separation and composting. But in 1987 the board adopted a recycling program, and in January, the board directed the staff to review and report on what programs would be necessary for the county to expedite recycling in order to achieve a 25 percent reduction in the waste stream by 1992, three years before the state-mandated deadline.

Plans were developed, and funds for their implementation were budgeted. As a result, in addition to the estimated 19 percent that the county is now recycling, programs are underway to remove yard waste by composting, to implement a pilot curbside collection program for glass, metal and possibly plastic and to expand the commercial recycling program. Furthermore, the Resource Recovery Facility is beginning to operate and each day will burn 3,000 tons of trash that otherwise would go to the landfill.

Frost says that in 1987 the District made a portion of the land at the prison available to the county for $1 a month. This is misleading; the fee was for the Resource Recovery Facility, not the landfill.

The statement that, at the time of the 1987 agreement with the District, Fairfax anticipated that only ash from the District's incinerator would have to be dumped in the Lorton landfill is untrue. The agreement acknowledged that the landfill would not meet the future needs of both communities, and so the District agreed to make more land available for landfill expansion.

It is also untrue that instead of pressuring D.C. officials to comply with the 1987 agreement "to reduce the waste stream it sends to Lorton, the board has sat on its heels." Fairfax County has written repeatedly to D.C. officials reminding them of their commitment to reduce the amount of waste going to the landfill and noting the financial penalties that will result from failure to reduce their waste stream.

It's also untrue that Fairfax County will have to pay "to relocate Youth Center I to another part of the prison complex, at estimates ranging from $30 million to $160 million." The costs of the landfill expansion and any relocation would be paid by tipping fees. Those who contribute more waste to the landfill will pay a larger percentage of the costs.

County residents won't lose recreational use of the Occoquan River and Occoquan Regional Park. The state requires protection of these areas.

Contrary to what Laurie Frost implies, some materials cannot be recycled or burned. These materials, as well as ash from incineration, must still be deposited in a landfill.

-- Mary Ober

The writer is vice-chairman of the Citizens Advisory Committee for Solid Waste Disposal Matters in Fairfax County. The planning commission has scheduled hearings this week on the proposed landfill expansion.