Local heritage tourism projects get $360K in grants

Frederick News Post
Ike Wilson
07/16/2013
Projects, programs, sites and organizations in portions of the Heart of the Civil War Heritage area in Frederick, Washington and Carroll counties became $360,415 richer last week as the result of grants from the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority. The grants support heritage tourism projects and activities that expand economic development and tourism-related job creation throughout the state, according to a statement from the Heritage Areas Authority. The agency oversees Maryland’s 12 locally administered, state-certified heritage areas. Among the local grants are $75,000 to Middletown to buy the old Memorial Hall for preservation and $30,415 for revitalization of the Emmitsburg square. Monocacy National Battlefield also gets $15,000 for programming and exhibits for the battlefield’s 150th anniversary in July 2014.

WTE and electricity pricing

Frederick News Post
Dan Andrews
04/13/2012
In a recent FNP article it was stated that waste incineration was "good for our community." As your local Sierra Club chairman, I am writing to tell you this is not true. This very controversial and extremely expensive proposed project is a mistake and can still be stopped. The construction bonding has not been approved by your commissioners, and Carroll County, a project partner, is poised to pull out of the deal. Waste incineration is a mistake for the following reasons...

County forging ahead with incinerator

Public hearing on the project set for today
Frederick News Post
Pete McCarthy
12/07/2011
Frederick County is forging ahead with a waste-to-energy incinerator despite some hesitation from its partner in the project. Carroll County, which can opt out of the multimillion-dollar deal once final costs are determined next year, remains on the fence about whether it will stay on board. "We understand they are taking a look at the whole project," Michael Marschner, special projects manager for the county, said during a meeting Tuesday with the editorial board at The Frederick News-Post. "They need to make whatever decision is right for their county." Should Carroll County pass on the opportunity, it would leave Frederick County on the hook. "If you don't have another equity partner, I think the project stalls," Marschner said.

Public decries waste-to-energy project

Frederick News Post
Patti S. Borda
07/22/2011
Potential pollution, traffic and expense associated with a waste-to-energy incinerator drew a group of residents to a meeting Thursday with Wheelabrator Technologies Inc. and the Maryland Department of the Environment. Members of the public who attended the meeting were not convinced that the county plant will receive enough trash to make it profitable, and if it does they said too much material that could be recycled will be incinerated instead.

WTE debacle

Frederick News Post
David Herman
06/04/2011
As a Republican, I am outraged that the "fiscally conservative" Board of County Commissioners is moving forward with an oversized, overpriced, unnecessary and polluting incinerator project. At a recent Maryland Department of the Environment informational meeting, the MDE made it clear that industry is on the "honor system" for reporting problems to them. In the case of Wheelabrator, this is not appropriate since it is a serial permit violator and subject of lawsuits by communities. The company simply pays the fines assessed and continues operations as usual while citizens must pay millions to breathe and drink the contamination. While Commissioner Billy Shreve did attend part of the recent MDE meeting, his attention was on his laptop rather than on the discussion. The entire BoCC appears to be asleep, to have not read the contract, and to continue the mistake of the previous board led by Jan Gardner -- who had very little understanding of the financial debt and pollution she was signing us up for.

History vs. trash in incinerator debate

Frederick News Post
Meg Tully
03/03/2010
Opponents of a Frederick County trash incinerator hope they can persuade state lawmakers to put a stop to it based on its proximity to Monocacy National Battlefield. The state Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee is considering a bill that would stop construction of incinerators within a mile of a national park. They considered a similar bill last year but voted it down before it could get to the full Senate. With the proposed incinerator approved for the McKinney site across the river from the battlefield, state Sen. Alex Mooney hopes his bill will gain more traction this year. Mooney, a Republican who represents Frederick and Washington counties, is an incinerator opponent whose district includes several sites considered for the project. He spoke to the committee Tuesday at a bill hearing. "It remains an irresponsible decision to site an incinerator next to a historic battlefield," Mooney said.

Mooney moves to stop incinerator near battlefield

Frederick News Post
Meg Tully
02/28/2009
Citing the historic nature of the Monocacy National Battlefield, Sen. Alex Mooney introduced legislation Friday that would prohibit building or operating an incinerator within one mile of a national park. His bill comes in reaction to the Frederick County Commissioners' consideration of a site near the battlefield for an incinerator, also known as a waste-to-energy plant, which would burn trash to generate electricity. It could have a smokestack as tall as 350 feet. The commissioners chose the McKinney Industrial Park as a site to take to public hearing this month. The county-owned site is off Buckeystown Pike. "The battlefield is important, it's an important battle," Mooney said. "I'd hate to see a smokestack put up right next to it, detracting from the attractiveness of the location." Known as the "battle that saved Washington," the one-day conflict at Monocacy delayed Confederate troops as they marched unsuccessfully toward the capital in 1864. Battlefield Superintendent Susan Trail has objected to the site, saying the smokestack would be visually intrusive. The Civil War Preservation Trust named the battlefield one of the most endangered Civil War sites last year because of the incinerator threat. The commissioners have proposed waste-to-energy as a way to combat the county's growing waste disposal needs. They hope to stop the costly practice of hauling trash to a Virginia landfill. Commissioner Kai Hagen, the only opponent of the incinerator on the board, supports Mooney's bill.

Legal action won't delay incinerator

Design, permitting continues for trash-burning facility
Gazette
Sherry Greenfield
11/19/2009
Legal action will not delay the permitting and designing process of an incinerator in Frederick County, according to a county official. Michael G. Marschner, director of the county's Division of Utilities and Solid Waste Management, said this week the process will continue despite an appeal filed in Circuit Court Friday. "The [Board of County Commissioners] have already signed agreements with the Northeast Maryland Waste Disposal Authority and they have been working on the design and permitting process," Marschner said. "It's a long process and they [NMWDA] have been instructed to do so. Yes, we're still moving forward."

Legal action won’t delay incinerator

Design, permitting continues for trash-burning facility
Gazette
Sherry Greenfield
11/19/2009
Legal action will not delay the permitting and designing process of an incinerator in Frederick County, according to a county official. Michael G. Marschner, director of the county's Division of Utilities and Solid Waste Management, said this week the process will continue despite an appeal filed in Circuit Court Friday. "The [Board of County Commissioners] have already signed agreements with the Northeast Maryland Waste Disposal Authority and they have been working on the design and permitting process," Marschner said. "It's a long process and they [NMWDA] have been instructed to do so. Yes, we're still moving forward."

Commissioners suspend incinerator plans

Frederick News Post
Meg Tully
04/29/2009
The Frederick County Commissioners are suspending deliberations on a proposed trash incinerator, and will focus instead on alternative disposal options. The commissioners accepted bids on the project earlier this year, and appeared to have narrowed those down to a preferred site and contractor to build and run the incinerator. But they voted 4-1 on Tuesday to suspend that process. Commissioner John L. Thompson Jr. voted against the motion. Also known as waste-to-energy, the trash incinerator was intended to be a cheaper, long-term answer to the county's shrinking landfill space. The proposed project would have been built by Wheelabrator and located at McKinney Industrial Park, across the river from Monocacy National Battlefield. It would have cost Frederick and Carroll counties up to $527 million, and one commissioner said Tuesday the cost could even be as high as $615 million. A motion to proceed with that contract and add requirements to make it less visually intrusive was defeated 3-2, with only commissioners Thompson and David Gray in favor.

New trash disposal option considered

Frederick News Post
Karen Gardner
03/05/2009
The county's waste-to-energy debate just got a little more complicated. Frederick County Commissioners Jan Gardner and Charles Jenkins announced Wednesday that they will look into another trash disposal option. This one uses a mechanical biological treatment system. The commissioners have considered building a $527 million incinerator that would burn trash and convert some of it into electricity. The idea has passionate supporters and detractors. Gardner and Jenkins plan to go to a March 16 conference in Philadelphia and meet with representatives of ArrowBio, the most well-known builder of mechanical biological treatment systems. None exist in the United States. There is one in Australia and one in Israel. The commissioners have boosted household recycling options this year. Still, that probably won't significantly reduce the 600 to 800 tons of daily residential trash that the county collects. Most of the county's trash is trucked to a landfill in southern Virginia, an option the county will have through 2015. The commissioners are looking for a more permanent option. "On a number of fronts, ArrowBio seems promising," Jenkins said at Wednesday's press conference. A ballpark estimate of the cost is $75 million to $100 million. If the county decides to build an incinerator with Wheelabrator, the company county staff recommends, the plant could cost the county up to $325 million. Carroll County would pay the rest. The two counties would share the plant, but it would be built in Frederick County.

Mooney against proposed plant near battlefield

Frederick News Post
Karen Gardner
02/17/2009
Alex Mooney might use his position in the Maryland State Senate to keep a proposed Frederick County waste-to-energy plant from being built adjacent to the Monocacy National Battlefield. Mooney met with people interested in the issue Monday at the McKinney industrial site off Metropolitan Court near the county's Division of Public Utilities and Solid Waste offices. Until a few weeks ago, he said, he hadn't been involved in the county's proposal to build an incinerator with Carroll County to deal with increasing trash. At a public meeting Feb. 3, the county commissioners decided to schedule a public hearing for tonight on two sites being considered for the incinerator. Both sites are in Mooney's district. One of those sites, where Potomac Edison once planned a power plant east of Point of Rocks, was scrapped last week because it is in the Carrollton Manor Rural Legacy Area.

Md. 28 site dropped from incinerator consideration

Frederick News Post
Justin Palk
02/13/2009
There's now only one site up for discussion at next week's public hearings on Frederick County's proposed waste-to-energy plant. Thursday morning, the Board of County Commissioners voted 3-0 to drop a site owned by Allegheny Energy, a mile west of the intersection of Md. 28 and New Design Road, from the list of possible sites. Commissioner Charles Jenkins, who first moved to strike the site from the list, said that while it scored well on paper, it was more important for the county to follow through on its land preservation goals. "It's been my thinking all along that the appropriate site is an industrial site," he said. "Not ... part of our rural legacy land." Waste-to-energy discussions weren't on the agenda -- Jenkins made the motion during the commissioners' comments portion of the meeting.

Hurdles loom for incinerator sites

Top contenders' proximity to national parks at issue
Frederick News Post
Karen Gardner
02/12/2009
The proposed Frederick County waste-to-energy plant could be located in the Carrollton Manor Rural Legacy area. If the Frederick County Commissioners choose to build the plant and go along with county staff's top recommended location, the plant could be on a site owned by Allegheny Energy along Md. 28, east of Point of Rocks. The second choice, McKinney Industrial, would place the plant and its proposed 350-foot smokestack in clear view of the Monocacy National Battlefield. The top choice is also near a national park. The C&O Canal National Historical Park is just south of the Allegheny Energy site, concerning park officials. Commissioners will hear public comments on the proposed locations at hearings scheduled for Tuesday and Thursday at Winchester Hall. The Carrollton Manor Rural Legacy area aims to preserve land in agricultural and conservation zones, which includes the Allegheny Energy site. A power plant was once proposed for the site when it was owned by Potomac Edison, but never built.