Waste to energy: the story so far

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Source: Frederick News Post
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Date Published: 01/31/2013

May 2000 — Frederick County hires consultants to evaluate landfill capacity problems.

February 2006 — County commissioners begin procurement process for waste-to-energy incinerator.

March 2007 — County Commissioner David Gray and Michael Marschner, director of the county’s Utilities and Solid Waste Management Division, visit seven European countries to investigate waste-to-energy technology.

April 2008 — Carroll and Frederick county commissioners discuss partnership on incinerator to burn 1,500 tons of trash per day to generate electricity.

February 2009 — More than 200 people attend public hearings on incinerator, the majority in opposition.

April 2009 — A state Senate committee rejects a bill that would prohibit incinerators near battlefields.

July 2009 — Frederick and Carroll counties agree to build a regional trash incinerator at the McKinney Industrial site near Buckeystown Pike.

October 2009 — Frederick County Planning Commission determines the waste-to-energy plant is not consistent with the county’s comprehensive plan.

November 2009 — County commissioners appeal planning commission’s decision in Frederick County Circuit Court. Planning commission reverses its earlier decision on the county’s plans to build a trash incinerator.

December 2009 — Residents challenge the planning commission’s reversal on a ruling that could have blocked construction.

August 2010 — Northeast Maryland Waste Disposal Authority has first permitting hearing for air emissions.

November 2010 — A study states the incinerator will cost Frederick County $140.7 million over the next 30 years, significantly less than an initial estimate of $331 million.

October 2011 — An environmental group study reports that waste-to-energy incinerators release lead and mercury at a greater rate than some coal-fired plants.

November 2011 — More than 100 residents turn out for the county’s final public hearing on the waste-to-energy project.

June 2012 — After making it known for months that they are pursuing other options, Carroll County officials give Frederick County the green light to pursue new partners for the incinerator.

August 2012 — Only about a third of those who sign up to speak have their voices heard at a two-hour Maryland Department of the Environment public hearing on a water permit for the incinerator.

September 2012 — With uncertainty about Carroll County’s partnership and no firm commitment from a replacement county, Frederick asks Wheelabrator Technologies to calculate the cost of building a plant to burn only Frederick County’s trash.

January 2013 — Maryland Department of the Environment schedules a single hearing for the final three permits needed before construction of the incinerator can begin.