- The Washington Times - Friday, February 15, 2002

FREDERICK, Md. (AP) Fort Detrick officials are asking state officials for permission to incinerate medical waste generated by other military institutions.
The military base's current permit from the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) allows it to burn up to 3,100 tons per year of waste generated on site by a biological-weapons defense laboratory and other operations at the Army post in Frederick.
Under the new application, which environmental regulators received last Friday, Fort Detrick would be allowed to accept up to 900 additional tons of waste annually from other federal institutions in the Washington area, said MDE spokesman John Verrico.
Fort Detrick spokesman Charles Dasey said the change would allow the post to accept waste from the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and other small Army and Navy medical laboratories in the Washington metropolitan area, including parts of Maryland and Virginia.
"Fort Detrick could provide the service to Walter Reed at a much cheaper cost, which would effect an overall savings to the Army and the federal government," Mr. Dasey wrote in an e-mailed response to questions about the plan.
"We have more incinerator capacity than we need just for Fort Detrick," Mr. Dasey added in a telephone interview.
The change would require a public review and comment period, including informational meetings and public hearings, before a modified permit could be issued, possibly by late June or July, Mr. Verrico said.
The change also would have to conform with Frederick County's land-use and solid-waste-management plans, Mr. Verrico said.
Frederick County's current solid-waste-management plan says Fort Detrick incinerates about eight tons of waste a day, or about 2.9 million tons annually. It wasn't clear whether a change in Fort Detrick's permit would require a change in the county plan.
Since November, Fort Detrick has been burning waste from the Environmental Protection Agency's cleanup of anthrax-tainted buildings in Washington under a 90-day exception that was to have expired yesterday. The agreement has been extended for six months so the post can continue disposing of that material, Mr. Dasey said.


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