Community members rally in front of City Hall in November 2019 with poop-shaped signs with slogans like "sewage stinks!"

Baltimore City Rolls Out Direct Assistance Program for Sewage Cleanups

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New Mayor Hears Residents’ and Advocates’ Call for Improved Sewage Backup Support

Today, Mayor Brandon Scott and the Baltimore City Department of Public Works announced the launch of a new Sewage Onsite Support (SOS) Cleanup Program. This announcement marks an important step in the right direction by the new  administration, and fulfills a Transition Report promise to make stronger commitments to cleaning up residential sewage backups. This new program will provide some meaningful and long-needed health protection and financial assistance to Baltimore City residents facing a terrible situation in their homes. However, the Baltimore City Department of Public Works still has a long way to go in order to fully address the public health threat and financial burden of sewage backups on Baltimore residents. DPW must develop a plan to provide assistance within the next year to residents who experience sewage backups caused by any blockage in the pipe system and not only those caused by “wet weather.” DPW must also ensure that the direct assistance program provides prompt and effective cleanup services that actually help residents who go through the often-traumatic experience of untreated sewage backing up in their homes. This program is an important part of the long-term solution to sewage overflows and backups that includes reimbursement, direct assistance, prevention education, community outreach, and investment in green and gray infrastructure

Contact: Alice Volpitta, Baltimore Harbor Waterkeeper with Blue Water Baltimore, (410) 236-9136, [email protected]


This release is a collaboration with the Environmental Integrity Project and Clean Water Action

The Environmental Integrity Project is a 19-year-old nonprofit organization, based in Washington D.C., dedicated to enforcing environmental laws and strengthening policies to protect public health and the
environment. Contact: Leah Kelly, Senior Attorney with the Environmental Integrity Project, (202) 263-4448, [email protected]

Clean Water Action works to protect our environment, health, economic well-being and community quality of life. Clean Water Action organizes strong grassroots groups and coalitions, and campaigns to elect environmental candidates and to solve environmental and community problems. Contact: Jennifer Kunze, Maryland Program Manager with Clean Water Action, (240) 397-4126, [email protected]



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