Maryland State Senate Approves Task Force To Study Baltimore County And City's Shared Water System


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BALTIMORE COUNTY - The Maryland State Senate approved legislation on Tuesday to create a task force that will study the future of Baltimore County and Baltimore City’s shared water system.

The legislation now moves to Gov. Wes Moore’s desk for final approval. The task force will submit a report to the Maryland General Assembly next January.

The vote is a victory for Baltimore County residents and officials who have expressed concerns over how the city administers its shared water supply.

“We are getting a Baltimore Regional Water Governance Task Force!” Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski tweeted after the vote.

Olszewski pushed hard for the task force’s creation, repeatedly expressing his concerns and frustration with how Baltimore City operated the system. Specifically, operations at the Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant in Dundalk have been the target of criticism from several county officials.

Baltimore City operates the plant, but it sits within a county community and routinely dumps nutrients and bacteria into the county’s Back River. Other issues with the plant include the March 15 explosion and the “catastrophic failures” identified in 2022.

Baltimore City owns and operates the regional water and wastewater system under state and regional agreements. The last time the legal agreements regarding the water supply were updated was in 1972, before Mayor Brandon Scott and County Executive Olszewski were born.

The system serves 1.8 million residents in Baltimore City, Baltimore County, and smaller portions of Howard, Harford, Carroll, and Anne Arundel counties.

The proposed task force would consist of 13 members. Five are appointed by the mayor, three by the county executive, two by the governor, and one each by the state senate president and the house speaker. The final member will represent Anne Arundel, Howard, Carroll, and Harford Counties.

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