BALTIMORE — Two Maryland State delegates from Baltimore County said in a joint letter Tuesday that they are asking for “strong accountability” regarding 67,000 gallons of pretreated wastewater that will be headed from East Palestine, Ohio, to Baltimore for treatment.
Republicans Kathy Szeliga and Ryan Nawrocki are asking that “strong accountability measures” be implemented when the wastewater arrives in Baltimore, “including assurances that the waste is contained and will not be leaked into the public sanitary sewer system.”
Once the pretreated wastewater has arrived in Baltimore, a waste management company will treat water contaminated by a train derailment in Ohio. Afterward, the waste will then be transported back to Ohio, according to the Maryland Department of the Environment.
Baltimore’s lawmakers learned in March that at least 675,000 gallons of pretreated wastewater from East Palestine would be sent to the Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant—a city-run facility based in Dundalk that has been under temporary state control due to compliance and permit issues.
But after widespread concern about the facility’s ability to effectively treat the water and the possible environmental impact, Mayor Brandon Scott directed the Department of Public Works to deny Clean Harbor’s request to discharge the wastewater.
Recently, though, the MDE said Norfolk Southern Railway Company notified the agency it intends to ship waste to the Clean Harbors Baltimore Facility for treatment under a different plan.
Following treatment, the wastewater will be shipped back to Clean Harbors Cleveland, Ohio, instead of being discharged in Baltimore, according to the agency.
The Maryland State delegates are directing attention to the lack of information made available to officials in Baltimore County.
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