CLA and Blue Water Baltimore Enter Consent Decree with MDE and Baltimore City in Wastewater Treatment Plant Case
On November 2nd, 2023, Chesapeake Legal Alliance and its client, Blue Water Baltimore, announced an agreement with Maryland Department of the Environment and Baltimore City to address pollution violations at the state’s two largest Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTPs).
Working cooperatively with the Maryland Department of Environment (MDE), Blue Water Baltimore and Chesapeake Legal Alliance fought for a comprehensive plan to fix the significant problems at the Back River and Patapsco WWTPs, with transparency and oversight to make sure that plan is followed. Under the agreement, Baltimore City will pay $4.75 million in penalties, replace and repair necessary equipment, submit quarterly progress reports, and hold annual public meetings to inform the public of the work being done. To protect public health, the City will be required to install signs and warning lights at the WWTP outfalls in the Patapsco and Back Rivers that will turn on if sewage discharges bypass some or all of the plants’ treatment processes. Importantly, third-party engineers will provide oversight to ensure the City is on track with the milestones in the decree.
The settlement is the largest civil penalty for a water pollution violation in at least 25 years and one of the largest ever civil penalties for a violation of any Maryland environmental law.
Read the full press release below:And to learn more about the details of the consent decree, read our fact sheet below: