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Following Mountain Christian controversy, MDE enacts downstream notifications

KINGSVILLE, MD—When Mountain Christian Church unveiled a plan to create a new wastewater management facility on its property last year, which would have resulted in “potable effluent” being discharged into the Little Gunpower Falls, many Kingsville residents, and even some Baltimore County elected officials, were surprised that no one had notified them.

That is about to change, according to Councilman David Marks.

“Last summer, the Baltimore County Council opposed a wastewater plan that would have impacted the Gunpowder River,” said Marks on Wednesday. “The applicant has since abandoned the proposal. Now, Delegate Dana Stein has worked with the Maryland Department of the Environment to ensure there is better notification when these projects are proposed close to jurisdictional borders.”

“I thank Delegate Stein for partnering with me on this important change,” Marks added.

Marks, who represents Kingsville, last year proposed a resolution, passed by the county council, that took the rare step of opposing a project in an adjoining county.

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WYPR reports that the Maryland Department of the Environment, in April, will begin notifying downstream localities about plans for wastewater discharge permits.

“It makes sense considering it in the context of watersheds,” Delegate Stein told WYPR. “That’s really where the concern is, that if something would be introduced in part of a watershed that was in one jurisdiction, but then the discharge could move downstream through the watershed that’s in a different jurisdiction, would that new jurisdiction get notice? This policy change will accomplish that.”

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