Today, Baltimore City’s Public Works Department agreed to a $4.75 million settlement payment to address pollution from the city-owned Back River and Patapsco wastewater treatment plants. This is a victory for the Bay that will ensure oversight and transparency of treatment plant operations moving forward. The historic failure of these two plants has caused millions of pounds of contamination to enter the Chesapeake Bay and damage water quality for surrounding communities. The settlement is a crucial first step towards righting that wrong.
Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Maryland Executive Director, Allison Colden said in a statement:
“Today’s settlement is an encouraging step forward but is the first step of many needed to rectify the harm these plants have done to the Bay. Much of Maryland’s progress in Bay cleanup has been achieved by reducing pollution from wastewater and we cannot backslide on that progress.
“Transparency and accountability will be crucial. We are hopeful that sufficient staffing, improved operations, and enhanced public communications will significantly benefit local waterways and communities that have been damaged by previous failures of these facilities.”
Editor’s note: This wastewater violation lawsuit against Baltimore City is led by Blue Water Baltimore represented by the Chesapeake Legal Alliance. More information is available here: Environmental Groups Announce Landmark Agreement To Resolve Wastewater Treatment Plant Violations.