Maryland Orders Companies to Clean Up Fly Ash Contamination

On Oct. 1, the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) signed a consent decree requiring Constellation Power Source Generation Inc. and BBSS Inc. to pay a $1 million penalty and clean up contamination from fly ash disposal.

The penalty demonstrates MDE's commitment to protect Maryland's groundwater and the health of its citizens. Under the terms of the consent decree, Constellation and BBSS are required to remediate groundwater contamination resulting from fly ash reclamation operations at the Waugh Chapel and Turner gravel pits owned by BBSS; replace drinking water supplies in the vicinity of the site; monitor groundwater conditions; and pay a penalty.

The consent decree requires Constellation and BBSS to investigate, design, and remediate groundwater contamination pursuant to plans to be reviewed and approved by the Department. BBSS and Constellation have already provided temporary connections to the county water supply for six residences. Under the decree, those homes and 34 other properties will be provided alternate water supplies. MDE also is requiring Constellation and BBSS to conduct ongoing monitoring of groundwater.

"MDE will continue to place highest priority on enforcing the laws of the state that protect public health. The state's groundwater resources are a critical component of our drinking water supply. It is imperative that laws protecting groundwater are fully enforced" said MDE Secretary Shari T. Wilson.

In addition, Constellation and BBSS are required to develop and implement a community relations plan to keep the public informed of their progress. MDE is investigating citizen concerns regarding dust and air pollution from the facility. The consent order does not limit MDE's ability to require the correction of any such violations that may exist at the site.

This article originally appeared in the 10/01/2007 issue of Environmental Protection.