Press Release

BALTIMORE, MD (September 12, 2000) – Maryland’s Department of the Environment (MDE) has moved to deny an application for a State Refuse Disposal Permit for the expansion of the Cunningham Rubble Landfill, citing the facility’s past operational performance. The closed Cunningham Rubble Landfill was a non-hazardous solid waste disposal facility located at the western end of Capital Raceway Road in Crofton (Anne Arundel County).

Landfills are dynamic facilities that require continued maintenance and monitoring to meet today’s acceptable operational standards. Maryland's law obligates MDE to take into consideration the compliance record of any person who is an applicant for a permit in the sanitary landfill system. MDE needed five months to carefully review the large number of written and oral comments received as part of the formal hearing record. Those comments, along with considering the extensive history of non-compliance at the existing site, has led to MDE's Final Determination to deny the State Refuse Disposal Permit application for the proposed Cunningham Rubble Landfill expansion.

"This department has invested great effort in the past to force the applicant to bring his facility into compliance," said Richard Collins, director, MDE’s Waste Management Administration. "A disregard for the need to comply with Maryland’s environmental laws continues to the present, which is unacceptable."

Based on evidence from MDE inspections and from the public made during the expansion’s permit application review process, three illegal dumpsites on the landfill property have been discovered. Old tires, auto parts, and assorted demolition material near the Patuxent River were among the debris. MDE issued a site complaint for those infractions and final resolution of those matters continues.

Confirmation of the illegal dumpsites and at least five orders from as far back as the 1980s for operation without a permit and improper closure of a past cell at the Cunningham Rubble Landfill were determining factors in the expansion decision.

The landfill owner of the proposed site has the right to appeal the decision to the state Office of Administrative Hearings.

During the application review process for the Cunningham Rubble Landfill expansion, MDE conducted a public informational meeting Dec. 2, 1999. In addition, a formal public hearing was conducted on Feb. 23 of this year. Written comments on the permit application were accepted through March 13th.

MDE's primary mission is to protect and restore the quality of Maryland's air, water, and land resources. The department works to ensure achievement of the state's environmental goals while fostering economic development, safe communities, and environmental education.