Toxic Pollution

As an industrial port city, Baltimore has a long history of heavy industry, manufacturing, shipping, and transportation. Though we now live in the era of the Clean Water Act, our waterways are still impacted by many types of toxic pollutants, such as legacy PCBs, chlordane, chromium, other organic contaminants, and heavy metals. Some of these pollutants are still actively flowing into our watersheds, while many others reside in sediment at the bottom of our rivers and streams.

One of the area the Baltimore Harbor Waterkeeper focuses on is strengthening and maintaining clean water laws and regulations related to toxic pollutants and other contaminants capable of compromising the health of the Baltimore Harbor.

The work is done by engaging in policy and regulatory processes, as well as conducting outreach, research, and education. When necessary, we litigate on behalf of clean water and the laws intended to protect it.

Stand Against Pollution

Even during dry-weather, pollution discharges from stormwater outfalls to our neighborhood streams and rivers. Pictured is the outfall where the Gwynns Run emerges before joining the Gwynns Falls. The discharge is visibly polluted with washwater and sewage that contain harmful contaminants such as fecal bacteria, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), nutrients, and toxic metals.