When I became aware of the problems around the proposed waste water management plan for the Lakeside development, I was astounded to discover that the existing wastewater plant in Trappe is already epically failing, and has been for many years. That the plan is to tie in the first 120 housing units to that already polluting plant. One of the Planning board members said yes, “but it’s legal.” I’m disheartened; how can we allow pollution to be legal?
Recently I’ve become aware that the Valley Protein Co is applying for a renewal of a permit for one of their processing plants in Dorchester County. Apparently that system is constantly out of compliance too with no remedy in sight.
Why hasn’t the Maryland Department of the Environment fixed these polluting plants? The MDE web site states, “The Department of the Environment formed in 1987 to protect and preserve the State’s environmental resources” and yet they do nothing.
The MDE must know that water pollution is an extremely important issue. So why is it that Trappe Creek is not currently safe for recreation? That the shellfish beds downstream are closed? How much worse will it be when 120 units are added to this already failing system? Why are there so many unanswered questions in the permit that is before them now? Why would they be willing to risk so much pollution as a result of the magnitude of all the unknowns?
This is a threat to public health. To my health. To my neighbors’ health. And a threat to the health of the water downstream which in turn is a threat to the economic engine that currently supports commercial fisheries like oystering, crabbing and fishing. And a threat to the economic engine that generates millions of dollars in recreational boating, fishing, and water borne sports. The economic engine of tourism that feeds my family and the families of those that work for me. And that feeds so many of the people living on the Bay. All of this depends on clean water.
We need to stand up and be heard. The MDE needs to do its job and start protecting our community and the Chesapeake Bay against water pollution. Readers can voice their opinions by writing to the MDE at firstname.lastname@example.org for comments specifically about the permit for Lakeside development to email@example.com.
CAPT. IRIS ROBERTSON