In "Don't Dump on the Lorton Landfill" {Close to Home, Sept. 9}, Mary Ober, the vice chairman of the Citizens Advisory Committee for Solid Waste Disposal Matters in Fairfax County, criticized me for providing "misleading and inaccurate statements" about the Lorton landfill.

I don't condemn Ober for her views; like many Fairfax County residents, she is the victim of selective and incomplete information disseminated by county staff to suit their narrow purposes and to control the development and operation of the I-95 landfill. But I stand by the statements in my Aug. 19 Close to Home piece and note the following:

Ober claims that the levels of fecal coliform in the stream running through the landfill are high both before and after the stream passes through the landfill, implying that something other than the landfill (e.g., the prison dairy) is polluting the stream.

While this claim is certainly correct, it fails to account for the presence of high levels of other contaminants such as iron, manganese, chloride and total organic carbon. These contaminates are flowing into the Occoquan River, according to a study by the Virginia Tech Student Environmental Health Project. The results have been reported to the State Water Control Board and the Department of Waste Management. The county's response: "It's only a small problem."

Ober points to my call for Fairfax County to develop alternative methods of waste disposal more quickly and says that the county has already implemented or plans to implement a more vigorous recycling program by 1992. The county's recycling plans are minimal compared with what could be achieved. The pilot curbside program mentioned by Ober will serve only 30,000 to 40,000 homes when it is implemented. The yard composting program also mentioned by Ober is stalled pending the location of a suitable site for the project. Composting facilities must be constructed and operated like a landfill in accordance with state regulations.

Ober says the board has taken "repeated" efforts to pressure the District to reduce the amount of trash dumped in Lorton. But those efforts to my knowledge consist of only two letters written this past summer -- after considerable citizen opposition to the landfill expansion had already been raised.

Ober states that it's untrue that Fairfax County will have to pay to relocate one of D.C.'s prison facilities, claiming the cost of relocation will be paid by tipping fees and "those who contribute more waste to the landfill will pay a larger percentage of the costs." The fact is that Fairfax County residents contribute approximately 48 percent of the waste going to the landfill and consequently will be paying to relocate the prison and expand the landfill.

If the county had conserved the space available in the landfill, there wouldn't be any need to expand it. But the county has been greedy, even to the point of requesting special permission from the state to accept waste such as asbestos. The time has come to put the lid on the landfill, and keep it there. We will no longer accept the degradation to the environment and to our neighborhoods that the landfill has caused.

-- Laurie A. Frost