Environmentalists Petition EPA to Withdraw MD’s Water Pollution Permit Authority

Potomac Basin Reporter article (Nov/Dec 2009 issue) reports on the efforts of a group of environmentalists to petition the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to withdraw the State’s authority to issue water pollution permits.  The permits are required to discharge pollution into any of the State’s waterways,  including by sewer plants and some muncipal stormwater systems.  If the petition is successful, the EPA could revoke the permit issuance authority granted to the State.

The Waterkeepers Chesapeake of Maryland and the Waterkeeper Alliance, a resource group for waterkeepers worldwide, worked with the University of Maryland Law School’s Environmental Law Clinic to file the petition “to better protect the Chesapeake Bay.” The group, which includes the Anacostia and Potomac riverkeepers, filed the petition in December 2009, citing the failure of the state to manage the program according to federal rules. …

 The 58-page petition cites numerous problems with Maryland’s program. “If you want to see proof of the failure of Maryland to enforce the Clean Water Act within its borders, look no further than the spiraling health of the Chesapeake Bay,” said Michele Merkel, Waterkeepers Chesapeake regional coordinator.

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