Updates on the Wastewater Treatment Plant Violations: what’s going on?
Last week was a big one for our Waterkeeper team. Working with our attorneys at the Chesapeake Legal Alliance, we have been advancing a legal strategy to ensure public accountability and transparency in the clean-up of Maryland’s two largest wastewater treatment plants.
First and foremost, we have been engaging in proactive communication with Baltimore City DPW Director Mitchell and our colleagues at the Maryland Department of the Environment to begin the collaboration that is necessary to achieve economically effective, sustainable solutions that ensure a better future for our environment and our budget. Both agencies have responded positively, and we will continue having these productive conversations.
On Tuesday, we notified the Baltimore City Department of Public Works of our intent to file a federal lawsuit. This is a formal requirement of the Clean Water Act and and represents your rights in action. As a member-based organization, BWB can now file a citizen suit on our constituents’ behalf to protect you and your environment if necessary.
This move is an important legal backstop to ensure that the solutions and remedies developed to address the serious violations at both wastewater treatment plants work to improve both water quality and quality of life for Baltimore residents. It is critical that BWB is involved in charting the course forward so that we can effectively advocate for holistic solutions on behalf of those who are most affected by the pollution in the first place.
On Friday afternoon, DPW followed up with a public statement acknowledging the issues at the treatment plants and outlining some steps toward resolution.
There is still a lot of work to be done to address the systemic issues plaguing our sewage treatment system. But it’s clear that our advocacy is earning returns. We and our partners at the Chesapeake Legal Alliance are dedicated to ensuring our systems get repaired right, and with the transparency you and other taxpayers deserve.
We’ll continue to keep you up to date as this story progresses, and we hope you’ll continue to support our efforts for you behind the scenes.
If you have questions about this ongoing issue please feel free to reach out to us at [email protected]. You can always report pollution to us online at bluewaterbaltimore.org/act/report or by phone at 443-908-0696. You can find an archive of news stories and press releases on our new Press Page.