MDE’s Emergency Response Division (ERD) prepares for and responds to emergencies involving oil and hazardous chemical spills, nuclear power plant incidents, and other environmental crises. ERD exists to protect public safety and the environment through careful planning, training, and expert application of emergency response mechanisms to minimize impacts on human health and the environment.
Emergency Response Hot Line (only for cases with Immediate threat to public health and grave impact to the environment): (866) 633-4686.
Click here for non-emergency calls.
Responding to Terror Attacks
The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) has been heavily involved in response to the threat of terrorist attack, in the wake of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and the subsequent anthrax attacks across the country.
Among other related activities, we are working to ensure the security of the state’s drinking water and responding to emergency calls about unidentified substances across the state.
MDE has been working with a variety of facilities to review and discuss contingency plans and terrorism preparedness and verify 24-hour emergency contact information. Security awareness guidelines are being provided to:
- Water and wastewater treatment facilities
- Chemical manufacturing plants
- Other industrial facilities using large quantities of hazardous substances
- Petroleum pipelines and bulk storage facilities
- High hazard dams
- Nuclear power plants and large radiological materials users
MDE will continue to work with local emergency responders, other state and federal government agencies and private organizations to ensure that these facilities are protected against the terrorist threat.
CSX, Norfolk Southern Documents
In 2014, MDE received requests under the Maryland Public Information Act for documents submitted to the Department by CSX Transportation, Inc., and Norfolk Southern Railway Company in compliance with an order of the United States Department of Transportation regarding Bakken crude oil shipments. After the railroad companies filed actions in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City requesting an order to prevent the release of the documents, the Department agreed to withhold release pending a decision by the Court. The Court has granted summary judgment on all claims in favor of MDE, and the Department has released the documents to those who had filed Public Information Act requests. Those documents can be accessed here.
MDE Secretary Ben Grumbles issued the following statement: "MDE is pleased the judge agreed with our position that the documents should be shared as a matter of public record. MDE is committed to transparency in government and to complying with Maryland's Public Information Act."