Patapsco Wastewater Treatment Plant

​​​In January 2022, the Maryland Department of the Environment filed suit against Baltimore City seeking civil penalties and an order requiring the city to take all steps necessary for the city’s Back River and Patapsco wastewater treatment plants to come into permanent and consistent compliance with environmental law. That case is pending.

On June 10, 2022, MDE and Baltimore City leadership reached an agreement that charts a course for continued progress at the Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant. A revised order, issued by MDE Secretary Horacio Tablada and consented to by Baltimore City, requires the city to cooperate with the Maryland Environmental Service (MES) in order to prevent or correct water pollution and ensure the Back River facility is operated in a manner that will protect public health. MDE also issued a revised directive that clarifies that MES will perform activities and projects necessary to support the city in abating pollution and making necessary improvements at the facility.

Due to continued noncompliance, MDE is currently pursuing similar agreements with the city for the Patapsco WWTP to ensure that both facilities have a clear path to achieving compliance with their permit limitations. ​

There are concerns that sludge processed through the drying process presents a fire hazard elevated concentration of hydrocarbons detected in the sludge. The City is conducting an investigation to determine the source of the hydrocarbons.​

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