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Attorney General's Office files lawsuit against two Baltimore City wastewater treatment plants

Rolling Stone wants UVA lawsuit thrown out
Posted at 4:07 PM, Jan 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-21 16:07:58-05

BALTIMORE — A lawsuit was filed Friday in Baltimore City circuit court on behalf of the Maryland Department of the Environment against two owned and operated Baltimore City wastewater treatment plants.

The Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant and the Patapsco Wastewater Treatment Plant are being asked to cease the unpermitted discharge of pollutants.

The complaint details multiple MDE inspections of both plants back in 2021, finding violations like exceeding effluent limits, failing to report sampling results, failing to maintain sampling equipment, failing to provide adequate operating staff, and failing to operate the plants and conduct necessary maintenance efficiently.

Furthermore, the plants have also been cited for multiple failed compliances, such as failing to report non-compliance, failing to comply with effluent sampling and testing protocols, failing to provide various required reports, and failing to comply with stormwater discharge permit requirements,

"The violations outlined in our complaint allege significant and repeated violations of state and federal water pollution laws, endangering our waterways and drinking water," said Attorney General Frosh. "Wastewater treatment plants are critical in our efforts to improve the health of the Bay, and they must adhere to State permits and environmental laws."

In addition to seeking civil penalties, the Attorney General's Office also requires Back River and Patapsco Wastewater to take preventive measures against future unpermitted discharge of pollutants.

Independent action has also been taken against both plants with Blue Water Baltimore and a 2015 civil suit against Baltimore City under the federal Clean Water Act in the U.S. District Court.