MD 85 asphalt plant site 1 (copy)

The site of a proposed asphalt plant along Md. 85 south of Lime Kiln Road in Buckeystown.

A construction company is asking a Frederick County judge to examine a county Board of Zoning Appeals decision to reject the building of an asphalt plant along Md. 85 in Buckeystown.

Hampstead-based C.J. Miller has asked for a judicial review of the board’s November decision that denied the company’s plan to build the asphalt plant south of Lime Kiln Road. The project has raised concerns from people who live near the site.

The board had voted a 2-2 in a hearing in June that the project’s plan didn’t meet various requirements of the county code, such as how much of the plant’s product would come from the site itself. A tie vote means that a plan is not approved.

Although the vote was taken in June, the decision was not signed and made official until November.

The Board of Zoning Appeals decision was itself an appeal of a Frederick County Planning Commission decision from January, which also tied in its consideration of the site plan for the 25-acre site.

The site plan called for a production center on the site, which would process aggregate and recycled asphalt into hot-mix asphalt to be used for paving and other purposes.

The area has been zoned for mineral mining since 1959.

A lawyer for C.J. Miller was not available for comment Monday.

The project has raised protests from neighbors concerned about the impact the plant would have on the community, including smell, lighting, and truck traffic on Md. 85.

One of the most vocal opponents of the project has been St. John’s Catholic Prep, whose property sits across Md. 85 near the site of the proposed plant.

Thomas Powell, president of St. John’s, said Monday he has “major concerns” about the fact that the county even entertained a proposal for an asphalt plant so close to the school.

“They are not meeting our rights as a school,” Powell said.

St. John’s is among several individuals and groups that have joined together to hire an attorney to represent their interests in the case.

Powell said representatives from C.J. Miller have told school officials that the plant would lead to at least 80 more trucks per day on Md. 85, in addition to the truck traffic that already uses the road.

He’s concerned about the school’s teenage drivers and parents dropping students off amid all the truck traffic.

“It’s an accident waiting to happen,” Powell said.

He also has concerns about the environmental impact on the school, including particulate matter, noise pollution, and possible seepage of chemicals into nearby wells and water supplies.

In a county the size of Frederick, surely another plot of land for the plant can be found, Powell said.

“Can’t we find a better place?” he asked.

No hearing date has been set in the case, according to online court records.

Follow Ryan Marshall on Twitter: @RMarshallFNP.

Ryan Marshall is the transportation and growth and development reporter for the News-Post. He can be reached at rmarshall@newspost.com.

(56) comments

Lovemesome31bags

First, the trucks need to follow the signs. Coming out of the Quary there is a sign that says No Right Turns onto Rt85 towards Buckeystown. So first and foremost FCSO needs to get out here and enforce this. These trucks go that way to avoid 270 without having to go all the way around. They speed through the town and no one wants to enforce it. We don't need more trucks to come to the area. There is already Tamko and the other asphalt place on Rt355 we don't need a 3rd.

KellyAlzan

A school near the jail house. Where criminals walk from the jail house passing by the school house On their way to their jobs. Where criminals escape from jail. But......an asphalt plant is a bigger threat??

The Pope will be pissed when he hears about how the school is behaving for selfishly.

ad_s_towel

This is just dumb nonsense. The school is 1.75 miles from the jail. The plant would be across the street. No one is pulling their kids from that school to homeschool them. Again, you just post nonsense.

KellyAlzan

Thank you for reinforcing my point. The prisoners walk on a daily basis to their work release jobs. Prisoners. Prisoners for a reason. Walking by innocent defenseless school children.

richardlyons

Quite sure not a single student at SJCP walks to school. But keep smoking whatever you are smoking.

KellyAlzan

For as bad as the traffic is, I’m amazed they put that school there to begin with.

KellyAlzan

Not to mention home schooling is taking over more and more and more. 7 years from now that school will be empty anyway

richardlyons

The school is expanding.

kaihagen

Home schooling has become more widespread, but it most certainly is not "taking over," and won't. Add to that that the county is growing, and the school is in no risk of being "empty" as long as it is well run and affordable for enough people.

KellyAlzan

Parents are pulling their children out of Frederick county schools faster than ever because of lack of metal detectors In the schools. While Ron is busy giving money for tennis courts and theaters.

shiftless88

Kai; pay no attention to the Lead Commenter; she is primarily here to stir things up. Don't be stirred! :-)

gabrielshorn2013

Pay no attention to the Plumbum (moderator, plumbum is Latin for lead, and does not violate the terms of use. The Lead chose their moniker)

shiftless88

Pure NIMBY and not even well defended. This is probably as good as it gets for putting an asphalt plant in. It was a friggin' mine, for chrissake. Would the school rather the mine re-open? The arguments against it could be used for basically any site in the county. Noise, smells, traffic. This is a rural area; deal with it.

gabrielshorn2013

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup] shiftless!

Comment deleted.
shiftless88

It is. Farmlands, open pit mine, stone company, asphalt company. And it is next to light industrial, the jail and so forth. This is not downtown Frederick.

KellyAlzan

Right. Along with the property at hand IS in a heavy industrial area period. That school made the decision to place the school there. Their decision. THEY OWN THAT DECISION.

richardlyons

No not downtown Frederick, but certainly not "rural". Frederick continues to grow south along Rte 85. The English Muffin Way industrial park is less than a mile from the plant entrance. Buckeystown is less than a mile south. The site is bounded on the west by New Design Road and the ag buffer that is part of the Alcoa plant. So while not downtown Frederick absolutely not "rural". Try driving 85 during the rush hour and see just how quaint that "rural" highway is.

kaihagen

That doesn't make it "rural!"

shiftless88

I understand, Kai and Richard, but it is not in a development nor is it some pristine area. It is surrounded on three sides by industrial and light-industrial sites. It is zoned for mining (not exactly a quiet, unhazardous industry) and has been for some time. I guess the question is; do we want anything like this at all in FredCo? If not, then just say "we do not want any such thing in this county" and quit with the false arguments. There are already trucks on 85 and that has been that way for a long time. Do we want such big trucks driving down country roads instead? They have to get asphalt from somewhere; do we want them in PA and driving down 15 at rush hour? Maybe on 26?

richardlyons

NO false arguments Shifty. We don't want it in this part of Frederick County. Satisfied?

gabrielshorn2013

Sorry richard, but that area was purposely designated industrial, to concentrate such businesses in that area. The one that doesn't belong is SJCP, since they are neither heavy or light industry, as are their neighbors. The fact that residential areas popped up near the area is irrelevant. Did they not understand that they were moving next to an area approved for heavy industry? That is the job of their buyer-broker, and if the homebuyers were not informed, that is malpractice on the part of the broker. If they decided to move there anyway, they must live with their choice. As someone said above, that trucks make a prohibited right turn, that is for the FPD or FCSO to enforce.

oldmagpie11

Frederick Asphalt has been at their location for far longer than St. John’s built their school nearby, but Frederick Asphalt isn’t a mine - nor were they producing hot-mix asphalt when Saint John’s went looking for a new location.

“ The site plan called for a production center on the site, which would process aggregate and recycled asphalt into hot-mix asphalt to be used for paving and other purposes.”

Industry “fact sheet” for asphalt: https://www.afscme.org/news/publications/workplace-health-and-safety/fact-sheets/pdf/Asphalt-AFSCME-fact-sheet.pdf

Chronic exposure to these carcinogens and airborne particles would be particularly dangerous for the school children who are sitting directly downwind of the proposed production plant, not to mention creating a new source of water pollution if/when even small amounts leached into the soil and made it into the river.

shiftless88

There is a big mine right there.

oldmagpie11

yes, but it doesn't belong to Frederick Asphalt afaik. The issue is Frederick Asphalt's proposal to build an asphalt production facility, not a mine.

shiftless88

oldmagpie; my point is that this is not a greenfield site. There are, and have been, industrial activities on this site for a long time. If this was a greenfield effort I would understand, but it is not.

oldmagpie11

shiftless, no argument to your point that "this isn't a greenfield site" - over time, land uses that have incompatible sequelae (how about that for a fancy word) have pretty much merged their boundaries and here we are. What concerns me is the proposed increase of additional types of airborne pollutants, close enough to a site now occupied by a school to pose a real chance of chronic harm to anyone who works or goes to school in that area. I'm not arguing that the region was zoned industrial long ago, and made it not exactly "rural" - my concern is appriopriate, pro-active harm reduction.

richardlyons

Someone else said it but SJCP purchased the school buildings and property from St. Thomas More Academy some 10 years ago. It did not build the school on this site.

oldmagpie11

thanks - my error. :)

gabrielshorn2013

Oldmagpie, I read the factsheet, and it raises questions. There are clearly states PEL and STEL for these materials. These are set very conservatively. Do you know if this limit will be exceeded at the school, after traveling quite a way by the wind? They certainly cannot be exceeded in the workplace where they are made without receiving an OSHA citation and fine. I would assume that the fumes would be diluted even more from the safe level at the plant.

If you're out there MD1756, could you confirm?

oldmagpie11

gabe, I don't know about any studies or results, but chronic exposure is additive - young folks are more susceptible to toxic effects from chemical hazards - and reactions to irritating or noxious chemicals, particularly fumes and fine particulates, depend mostly on the individual. (One person's sweet smelling cologne is another's migraine trigger, for example.) Over time, any individual could accumulate damage from carcinogenic VOCs and/or inhaled particulates that are too fine to be coughed out.

gabrielshorn2013

Oldmagpie, I understand the toxicology. If the levels are safe for a worker's daily exposure, the levels will be much lower downwind due to the dilution effects of the wind.

oldmagpie11

gabe, these workers are prepared for exposure and must wear PPE suitable to protect them. OSHA guidelines take this into consideration. My point about effects of exposure to hazmats being more risky/severe in young people still stands. Workers have a choice about working in such a plant/under such conditions, but children whose parents send them to SJCP do not. Will the school pay for PPE for faculty and students? - how about outdoor sports activities - when one is breathing hard (e.g. soccer), every breath pulls in more of what's in the air.

I'm unlucky enough to be super-sensitive to airborne volatiles and hyper-reactive to irritants and allergens in general. I didn't choose to be this way but I have to deal with it; many many folks suffer this way too.

shiftless88

All these are choices when you send kids to a specific school (if this were a public school where kids had no choice I could see the argument better). TJ middle school is right next to a wastewater plant. Many are located on far busier roads than 85.

gabrielshorn2013

Oldmagpie, do you think that all the employees at an asphalt plant wear tyvek and respirators? No, and they're right there. How many road crews do you see wearing respirators when building roads? SJCP chose to locate in an area zoned industrial. They are the sore thumb in the area. Since they located where they maybe shouldn't have, is all industrial development to stop in the area that was specifically set aside for such businesses?

oldmagpie11

gabe, your observations are what they are and you'll get no pushback here; IMO a worker's motivation to wear PPE depends on their own comfort and convenience, their workplace's convention (do workers tend to wear PPE or not), whatever consequences there are for NOT wearing PPE (does the employee get fired, does the safety manager look the other way) and whatever consequences there might be for the individual employee (acute burns, chronic lung disease, cancer, etc). As far as industrial zoning "setting aside" an area for such businesses - zoning and other regulations change with some frequency. Although it would be relatively difficult, it wouldn't be impossible to change industrial zoning to something else (related of course). I'm not privy to what information SJCP was given ten years ago about industrial practices and possibilities in their chosen area; if they didn't ask, it's on them, but if they asked and were not advised thoroughly, that's different. Again, regulations sometimes seem to change with the wind and what wasn't allowed then could be allowed now.

Anecdote : in another state at the other end of the country, soil tests became available that allowed more sensitive detection of chemical contaminants. A daycare moved into the neighborhood where a pair of manufacturing plants had been for oh, forty years. About five years later the daycare complained that these manufacturers were contaminating the soil and the daycare kids might be getting poisoned when they played outside. Why the daycare had set up shop in that location when these two manufacturers had been there for years making the same products all along - good question - but the upshot was that the state forced their hand and demanded that they clean up their processes. One firm shut down, the other took over their product lines, and the company that stayed in business had to close off section by section to install mitigation/containment equipment. That was five years ago; their customers all over the world are more than happy that they still exist. This could happen anywhere depending on local history and convention.

I'm not asking for a response, but I do wonder where you (or anyone) would have put this school when their former property was sold to a developer. 'Tis a juggle.

collinsm65

Oh, just great....now add dozens and dozens of dump trucks running up and down that road in addition to the mass of commuters avoiding I-270. I foresee delays, many cracked and broken windshields (I've had multiple thanks to dump trucks already in the area) from thrown rocks and debris from the trucks and a significant increase in accidents due to the parade of heavy, slow, clumsy vehicles with drivers that show little regard for anything smaller than a blue whale driving around them. I can't count how many close calls I've had thanks to dump trucks tailgating and delays to them hogging far left lanes at lethargic speeds already on 70 and 270 or conversely going 80mph in packs of 4-5 in a row blocking all lanes from getting by them. Enough is enough. Add the dust stirred up and noise...it's enough already.

richardlyons

Time to relocate this plant to friendlier environs.

shiftless88

Where do you suggest?

richardlyons

WV would welcome them. As would PA. Not sure about northern VA.

shiftless88

So basically NIMBY

richardlyons

Absolutely Yes! BTW where do you reside?

gabrielshorn2013

Isn't Frederick Asphalt and Tamko in that area too? If so, what's the difference?

collinsm65

So....adding more noise and pollution on top of what already is noisy and polluting? That's no reason to let them in.

richardlyons

[thumbup]

gabrielshorn2013

collinsm65, Kelly is right on this issue. The area is zoned industrial, is it not? Therefore, that is where industrial operations get put, because they can't get put anywhere else. So yes, "more noise and pollution on top of what already noisy and polluting", because that is where it is supposed to go. So how noisy is an asphalt plant? Does it exceed noise ordinances for an industrial zone? How polluting is an asphalt plant? Does it meet the EPA and State requirements of their site permit? St. John's sited their school at the former St. Thomas More facility. They knew it was zoned industrial before they relocated. Folks want nice paved roads, but they don't want the plant that makes the material to pave those roads? Can't have one without the other, unless you are a NIMBY and want to make it somebody else'd problem.

collinsm65

Regardless, since that area was zoned, things have changed. 85 isn't that quaint little backroad it used to be and is MOBBED SEVERELY already to the point it is bursting at many hours of the day. Zoning really hozed it years ago and now development of residential and commercial are (thanks to the likes of Ryan Homes plopping 1000 home developments practically everywhere) encroaching and that road can't hack the dump truck traffic in any fashion of safety. That and the added weight will wreck the road also. They want in, make them widen the road first.

shiftless88

Collins; it is at least four lanes almost the entire distance between this location and 270

gabrielshorn2013

Here is a tool to locate current asphalt plants. There are others currently in the area.

https://mdasphalt.org/asphalt-plant-locations/

KellyAlzan

That’s been an industrial seal LONG before St Johns ever dreamed of building a school there. St. John’s should have done their homework . Just because St. John’s built a school there, now no one can use their land?? And the mention of teenage drivers? Really?? Very unreasonable of the school.

CJ Miller is a huge successful company with low employee turnover. They have very deep pockets. Lawyer fees are no issue. They will fight this to the end.

I suggest St. John’s take a moment and think about how selfish and unreasonable they are being

KellyAlzan

Area,

Not seal

Frayou

Agree this area was there long before the school, but I don’t believe they manufactured asphalt? Have you ever been stuck in traffic during hot summer months when they were paving hot asphalt, the odor is overwhelming as with the manufacturing process being worse. The stench is overwhelming, as I have witnessed for many years driving by such a facility in the other side of Woodsboro northward on 194. The stench can be overwhelming at time. Additional health safety concerns should be addressed.

gabrielshorn2013

Frayou. Frederick Asphalt was in that area before the original occupants of that campus, St. Thomas More School, who sold to St. Johns. As shiftless correctly points out, that location was a mine before.

oldmagpie11

Frayou, I don't believe that Frederick Asphalt did their own manufacturing - and the mine didn't either. Hot mix asphalt absolutely brings its own set of hazmat issues and some serious health hazards. Two years ago a section of North Market Street was repaved and it took months. I live a block or two removed from that area and had a constant headache from the stench. The filters in my air-handling system were absolutely black and they were changed every two months.

Asphalt and related chemicals used to produce and install it are not compatible with biological life. Some years ago a new building went up near the one I worked in. The workers who poured the asphalt roofing wore protective equipment but the fumes came into our building (air intakes were on the side that faced the new structure) and the stench was bad enough that our building was evacuated - and all the cell cultures in our incubators died. If I were Kite or Leidos or AstraZeneca (etc) I would want to stay apprised of proposed activities in industrial areas.

dtwigg

I think that you ought to take a flying leap. People pay lip service to supporting agriculture in the county and adding any trucks to the already ridiculous traffic on RT 85 makes it extremely dangerous for farmers moving equipment.

dtwigg

The are was a farming community waaaaay before corrupt politicians took bribes to allow the north part of 85 to become an industrial wasteland.

collinsm65

Why not just have some fracking companies come in - I'm sure they can afford the bribes it will take.

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