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Maryland, Baltimore City agree to new fix at troubled Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant

Feces in Back River.jpg
Posted at 2:14 PM, Jun 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-10 14:16:23-04

BALTIMORE — Maryland's Environment Department and Baltimore City have come to terms on how to move forward with correcting longstanding issues plaguing the Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The agreement comes after a prolonged back and forth which included a state take-over of the City run facility, and lawsuits to try and prevent it.

For months the state has repeatedly accused the City of failing to curtail illegal discharges of sewage from the plant, which they say has resulted in environmental harm.

Under this new agreement Baltimore City says it will withdraw its court challenges, and allow the state to make recommended repairs and improvements to the Back River plant.

RELATED: Baltimore City asks judge to halt State's takeover of Back River Wastewater Plant

Additionally it calls for the City to give State access to all areas of the plant in order for pollution abatement projects to continue within the facility.

The City also reportedly has to comply with a cost reimbursement agreement with the State.

And finally City representatives are expected to participate in weekly meetings discussing progress at the plant, as well as providing the State witha updated monthly compliance reports over the next six months

The agreement still must be approved by Baltimore City’s Board of Estimates, and will remain in effect indefinitely until terminated or superseded by another order.

Before ending the agreement the State wants the Back River plant to comply with its permit limits for three consecutive months, including for total nitrogen and phosphorus, along with all annual and seasonal loading limits.

The State says it is also pursuing similar agreements with the city for the Patapsco Waste Water Treatment Plant, which has also been the source of some concern.