Del. Long: “We Don’t Need Ohio’s Toxic Water at Back River”

– the following article was submitted by 6th District Delegate Bob Long –

I was very upset to hear that the toxic water from the Ohio Train Derailment was going to be treated at the Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant (WTTP). This news came out last Friday, March 24th around 2 p.m.
The plan was to pretreat the toxic water at a private south Baltimore company, Clean Harbors, and they will dump the remains into the sewer down to the Back River WWTP.
I have received your emails and I was just as angry as you. Why is this mess from Ohio being sent to Back River of all places? 
I don’t need to remind everyone of the incidents that have taken place at Back River over the years. That includes the explosion from two weeks ago. 
Back River WWTP is not ready to take on this type of treatment. We don't need Ohio's toxic water to leak into our waterways.
I joined an MDE/EPA conference call on Saturday with Democrats and Republicans who also oppose this treatment. I am pleased that Maryland lawmakers were able to work together to prevent the toxic water from the Ohio Train Derailment from being treated at Back River.

Hopefully this treatment plan for Back River is dead but I am still going to remain vigilant. I will introduce or support legislation, support ligation or do whatever it takes to stop this toxic water from arriving.
I have also been in contact with representatives at MDE in the past couple of weeks to make sure that the treatment plant doesn’t fall out of compliance as the permit is set to expire April 30th .
I have introduced a bill that requires an independent third party to oversee water-quality testing at Back River WWTP if there is non-compliance or is experiencing a catastrophic or an ongoing equipment failure.  The third party would remain onsite until they come up with an action plan to get the treatment plant up to compliance.
New wastewater disposal permit guidelines would address my concern. It will have an action plan that will be overseen by a third party to address any violations.
Two public input meetings will be scheduled. I will let you know when they are scheduled.  I am requesting that the hearing be scheduled in Baltimore County where the Plant is located and where it affects our residents the most.

B.J. Joseph

Benjamin Joesph has covered news in Eastern Baltimore County since 2006. He started as a reporter with the original East County Times in 2006. He started East Baltco News and later in 2022.

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