Maryland waterways have been suffering from garbage pollution. Now legislators point towards upstream states as a culprit.
It's been rainy and wet in Maryland the past week. Everywhere you look there are puddles of water and people wearing rainboots. The recent increase in rain has brought the issue of water pollution to light. Last week, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and other legislators criticized upstream states for not doing enough to fight the problem.
Governor Hogan said on Facebook,
"Our administration has been leading the charge to protect our most precious natural asset -- the Chesapeake Bay. Since before becoming governor, I have been drawing attention to the threat that pollution flowing downstream over the Conowingo Dam poses to the Bay and calling on upstream states to do their fair share to keep our waterways clean and safe.
"As flood waters recede after last week's storms, it is now more clear than ever that upstream states need to step up and take responsibility for their pollution and trash that is trapped behind the Conowingo Dam and is now flowing into our rivers, streams, and creeks. This sediment and debris is a threat to our environment and a serious danger to wildlife, boaters, and swimmers."
Comptroller of Maryland Peter Franchot said, "Completely unacceptable. The Chesapeake Bay is not a dumpster. Maryland’s environment, economy, and public health should not have to suffer because of the actions (or lack thereof) of our neighboring states."
Their statements came after the Maryland Department of Natural Resources warned boaters about the large amount of marine debris in the Chesapeake Bay. Governor Hogan specifically mentioned the states of Pennsylvania and New York in his statements on the need for more action.
Courtesy of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Governor Hogan notes that Maryland has been taking steps to address the issue of pollution themselves.
"Our administration has taken bold, aggressive steps to address this long-standing problem: we included measures to reduce pollution, including debris and trash management, in the conditions of the Water Quality Certification that the Maryland Department of the Environment issued in April, which is unfortunately being challenged in court by Exelon; we have been calling on the federal EPA to enforce its rules and crack down on upstream pollution; and we are moving forward on our own plan to reduce the amount of sediment trapped behind the dam," he notes.
What do you think? Should upstream states be doing more to protect Maryland waterways? Let us know in the comments below!