BALTIMORE, MD — A local sewage company that had previously been awarded $2 million in federal grant money for wastewater treatment has been fined $4.9 million for illegally dumping millions of gallons of wastewater onto Baltimore’s waterways.
In a letter to Maryland’s Office of Water, Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh said the company, Sewage, violated the Clean Water Act, and should pay a $4 million penalty.
“The violations by Sewage go far beyond simply violating a federal clean water order,” Frosh wrote.
“They also violate the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), the Safe Ground Water Act and the Clean Air Act.”
Frosh said Sewage did not have a permit to discharge wastewater into the city’s drinking water.
The company also did not submit the proper permits for the discharge of wastewater into Maryland’s waters.
Sewage treatment companies typically must get a permit before they discharge wastewater.
The Maryland Department of Health and the Environmental Protection Agency have been investigating the company since the lawsuit was filed.
A spokesman for Sewage told Mashable the company has worked with the city for years and has had a permit for treatment for more than a decade.
The spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The company was awarded $1.6 million in the fiscal year that ended March 31, 2018, for wastewater services, including wastewater treatment and treatment of municipal sewage and storm water.
That’s nearly $3 million more than Sewage paid in fiscal year 2018.
In an interview with The Associated Press in March, Frosh did not directly address Sewage’s potential fines, but said the department was “looking at it closely.”