We have been following this developing story since Friday regarding the Biden administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decision to transport toxic water from East Palestine, Ohio, to a water treatment facility in Baltimore. On Monday, local lawmakers from both Democratic and Republican parties united in expressing their concerns about the EPA’s strategy and how it would be devastating for the Chesapeake Bay. Now, the mayor of Baltimore has found a way to block the EPA’s plan.
According to Fox Baltimore, Clean Harbors Environmental in Baltimore is set to receive the 675,000 gallons of the contaminated water as early as Thursday. They plan to flush the water into the city’s sewer lines, where it would then flow to the troubled Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant for processing.
However, the EPA’s grand plan might be put on hold after Baltimore City Mayor Brandon Scott said he found a way to block the toxic water from entering Baltimore:
After legal review, the City’s Law Department has determined that the Department of Public Works has the authority to modify discharge permits in an effort to ‘safeguard Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW) from interference, pass-through, or contamination of treatment by-products.’ As such, I have directed DPW to modify Clean Harbor’s discharge permit to deny their request to discharge processed wastewater from the cleanup of the Norfolk Southern Railroad derailment into the city’s wastewater system after processing at a Clean Harbors facility. Clean Harbors has facilities across the country that may be better positioned to dispose of the treated wastewater, and we urge them to explore those alternatives.
The mayor continued:
Make no mistake – I stand against any efforts that could comprise the health and safety of our residents, and the environment.
In recent days, Baltimore lawmakers have issued statements highlighting that the treatment facility has had a history of numerous mishaps.
What’s alarming is that Biden’s EPA, supposedly committed to environmental justice, wants to send the toxic water to a troubled treatment plant and then release it in the Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in the US — something about this administration doesn’t pass the sniff test.
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