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Posted at 11:44 AM ET, 04/ 8/2010

Report: Md. failing on clean water laws

By Washington Post editors

A new report says Maryland is failing to enforce clean water laws, citing insufficient funding and an increased workload for state inspectors.

The Maryland Department of the Environment says it has one of the best Clean Water Act programs in the nation despite funding constraints and the report doesn’t reflect progress made over the past three years on enforcement issues.

The report released Thursday was commissioned by The Abell Foundation and written by the Center for Progressive Reform. The report says MDE inspectors were responsible last year for triple the amount of permits than at the beginning of the decade. And it says the department is drastically underfunded and hands down small penalties that fail to deter violators.

-- Associated Press

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By Washington Post editors  | April 8, 2010; 11:44 AM ET
Categories:  Maryland  | Tags:  Clean Water Act, Maryland, Maryland Department of the Environment  
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How can you expect better enforcement of a law, when the testing used to implement such a law is not only faulty, but also misleading, while causing many problems in the engineering field of sewage treatment?

The goal; of the CWA was to eliminate all water pollution by 1985, but EPA ignored all the pollution caused by nitrogenous (urine and protein) waste and now tries to implement the CWA through the back door by addressing fertilizer runs off from lawns and farms, while still all the fertilizer used to grow food and consumed by people ends up in sewage, where it is not treaded before it is dumped into open waters.

Nitrogenous (urine and protein) waste in sewage is not required to be treated, while this waste, just like fecal waste, exerts an oxygen demand and in all its forms is a fertilizer for algae, causes eutrophication and often resulting in dead zones.

EPA failed to implement the CWA because it used an essential pollution test incorrectly and while this test indeed is incorrectly used worldwide, this should not be an excuse to correct this test, even tough EPA claims that correcting this test and regulations is impossible because it would require a re-education and re-tooling of an entire industry, while acknowledging that not only much better sewage treatment is possible, but also at a much lower cost. (

Why is nobody holding the EPA accountable and keeps playing its games of initiating other programs clearly intended to implement the CWA through the back door? As long nitrogenous waste in sewage is ignored, all such program failed in the past and will fail in the future.

Posted by: Pmaier | April 8, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Aside from EPA and MDE there is a third transgressor involved in our fiasco: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

At last count, the Baltimore District was issuing 917 permit APPROVALS for 1 DENIAL.

With a score of 917 to 1, the playing field is not level and the referees would appear to be taking bribes and making bets.

Posted by: properbostonian1 | April 8, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

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