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Frosh Sues Baltimore City Over Pollutants Discharged From Wastewater Plants

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh is suing Baltimore City over unauthorized discharges of pollutants from its wastewater treatment plants.

The lawsuit was filed on Friday in Baltimore City Circuit Court on behalf of the Maryland Department of the Environment. It concerns unpermitted discharges from the city-owned Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant and Patapsco Wastewater Treatment Plant, the two largest such plants in the state.

According to the complaint, "extensive violations of MDE-issued discharge permits" were found during multiple inspections of the plants in 2021, including: an excess of pollutants discharged from the plants, a failure to report sampling results, a failure to comply with stormwater discharge requirements, and a failure to provide various required reports, among other issues.

"The violations outlined in our complaint allege significant and repeated violations of state and federal water pollution law, endangering our waterways and drinking water," Frosh said. "Wastewater treatment plants are critical in our efforts to improve the health of the (Chesapeake) Bay and they must adhere to state permits and environmental laws."

The suit asks the court to impose fines of $10,000 a day per permit violation. It also seeks a court order requiring Baltimore City to do everything in its power to halt all the discharge of any pollutants and to prevent future discharges.

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