Request Denied: DPW Says No To Discharge Toxic Water From Derailed Ohio Train Into Wastewater System

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BALTIMORE COUNTY - The Baltimore City department of public works has denied a request from industrial remediation contractor Clean Harbors to discharge pre-treated wastewater into the city's system.

Channel 11 news reports that Charles Heart, general manager of Clean Harbors, said that the company would only receive water from the Ohio train derailment site with approval from local officials.

Local elected officials, including Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, County Councilman David Marks, and Baltimore County Delegates Kathy Szeliga and Ryan Nawrocki, have already expressed their opposition to treating the water in the Baltimore Area.

After some uncertainty over the weekend on whether or not officials could prevent the wastewater from coming to the Back River treatment plant, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott released a statement on Monday saying that DPW has the authority to deny the request.

"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."

You can read the DPW's letter to Clean Harbors' here.

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