Maryland regulators are taking public comment again on plans to handle wastewater from a massive new development on the state’s Eastern Shore by spraying it on farm fields.
The Maryland Department of the Environment had issued a wastewater permit in December 2020 for Lakeside, a proposed community of 2,501 homes and apartments plus a shopping center in the small Talbot County town of Trappe. But a judge ordered the department to give the public another opportunity to comment on the permit because of changes made in it before being issued.
The proposed permit allows the developer to eventually spray an average of 540,000 gallons of wastewater daily on grassy fields. It must be treated using enhanced nutrient removal to lower the levels of nitrogen and phosphorus. A lagoon is also required to store wastewater for up to 75 days during winter and when it’s raining or too windy to spray.
Neighboring residents and environmental groups questioned the MDE’s assurances that the nutrients and other contaminants in the wastewater would be soaked up by the grass in the fields. They fear it could seep or run off into nearby Miles Creek, a tributary of the Choptank River.
The MDE is taking comments until July 26. It also plans to hold a public hearing, but a date had not been set.
Written comments should be mailed to the Maryland Department of the Environment, Water and Science Administration, 1800 Washington Blvd., Baltimore, MD 21230-1708, Attn.: Mary Dela Onyemaechi, Chief, Groundwater Discharge Permits Division.
For more information and to check on the hearing, visit mde.maryland.gov/programs/Water/wwp/Pages/19DP3460.aspx.
By Timothy B. Wheeler
Letters to Editor
RALPH DAVIS says
If this article and the possibility of corruption at the hands of the commissions in charge of seeing this is handled correctly isn’t proof enough, what is? This development is clearly a mistake, and it hasn’t even started. SAVE TALBOT AND THE SURROUNDING AREA WATERWAYS.
Robert A Gorsuch says
Whatever the process to approve waste water treatment for additional properties in the Town of Trappe, it should include a review of Trappe’s current ability to manage their existing system and recognition that the best available technology should be required, as it is for single home systems. The politically motivated, steamroller approach to approval of such a large system is in no one’s best interest. There is no reason to believe that the new system, as currently approved, will be in compliance or that MDE will do anything but issue warnings if it is not. That’s why Trappe’s existing system continues to cause environmental issues. Why would anyone support creating a multiple of those problems?