Maryland Wastewater Plant Exceeds Pollution Limit

Nov. 30, 2017
The Patapsco Wastewater Treatment Plant releases large quantities of nitrogen and phosphorus

According to a report released by the Environmental Integrity Project, the Patapsco Wastewater Treatment Plant of Baltimore, Md., released four times the amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus permitted by the Maryland Department of the Environment (DEP) in 2016. Nitrogen and phosphorus cause excessive growth of algae which removes oxygen from the water and poses a threat to the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem.

Despite the report, Maryland has made significant progress in improvements for wastewater plant pollution control in recent years. Since 2004, Maryland has spent $1.25 billion on improvement projects for 54 out of 67 targeting facilities with 12 expected to be completed in the next three years. Pollution has been noticeably reduced for nitrogen by 6.3 million lb and phosphorus pollution has fallen by half a million lb since the Bay Restoration Fund began.