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Rate for oil waste treatment may increase

January 07, 1997

By ELLEN LYON

Staff Writer

Washington County Water and Sewer Department Director George Gross proposed to the County Commissioners at a public hearing Tuesday that the rate for treating emulsified oily waste at the industrial pretreatment plant be raised from about 7 cents to about 20 cents a gallon.

Mack Trucks is the pretreatment plant's only customer for that kind of waste, Gross said.

About 1.6 million gallons of emulsified oily waste passes through the pretreatment plant a year, at an operating cost of about $318,000, accounting for about 10 percent of the plant's business, he said.

Last year the pretreatment plant posted a $42,000 profit on emulsified oily waste treatment but that money doesn't represent a profit because some major maintenance projects must be done, Gross said.

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Gross said he would ask the commissioners later this year to fund a $160,000 maintenance project to clean out sludge left from the emulsified oily waste treatment process.

According to a draft study's estimate, it could cost $1.2 million to upgrade the emulsified oily waste treatment process, which would allow for increased flow, Gross said.

"If we're going to be in that business, then we need to change our process," he said.

The public has until next Tuesday to send written comments on the proposed rate increase to the County Commissioners at 100 W. Washington St., Room 226, Hagerstown, Md. 21740-4727, Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook said.

The commissioners probably will make a decision on Tuesday, Snook said.

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