Brandywine group battles rubble fill
Nov. 27, 2002
Scott M. Lowe Jr.
Staff Writer




Opponents from both sides of a proposed rubble fill in Brandywine are gearing up for a possible second battle, pending a court decision.

The Maryland Court of Special Appeals is reviewing an appeal by the Prince George's County Council that would overturn a decision from a lower court and end the fill's chance for construction.

The Prince George's County Circuit Court had earlier halted the council's vote to deny the project on the grounds that the council lacked evidence.

"We have more rubble fills than any other county in the state, and it seems like we're here just to take the rest of the state's rubble," said County Councilman M.H. Jim Estepp (D-Dist. 9) of Croom.

The appeals court decision is expected sometime within the next two months.

Estepp, whose term ends next month because of term limits, said that his concern came from the fact that most of the rubble would come from outside the county.

He credits the residents for explaining their side and sticking to their guns.

"The citizens were organized, they hired experts and they had a professional presentation," Estepp said. "They weren't just some mob with rhetoric."

The Greater-Baden Aquasco Citizen's Association has been the group leading the resistance.

Some reasons why the association is fighting the proposal include dust, pollution, increased truck traffic, noise and water quality.

Board member Aloysius Briscoe is concerned about the newly elected council members who will be sworn in next month, and how they might vote.

But for now they must wait for the court's decision.

"Some people tend to play politics, and that usually tends to favor businesses over consumers," Briscoe said.

Some association members, such as Joyce Dowling, are worried that if the court overturns the current council's appeal, then they might have to present the case again for the new council.

A new case to stop construction means more money spent out of their own pockets.

Still, Briscoe and others are determined to fight.

"We'll be ready for battle; our association has done a great job of getting its ducks in a row," he said.

Estepp said that even as a private citizen, he would continue to argue against the proposal.

Brandywine Enterprises, the company that would build the proposed fill, was unavailable for comment.

Larry Taub, the attorney representing the company, declined to comment.

E-mail Scott M. Lowe Jr. at slowe@gazette.net.