Suit accuses BWI of releasing toxins into bay

March 18, 1998|By Michael James | Michael James,SUN STAFF

Environmentalists filed a federal lawsuit yesterday alleging that Baltimore-Washington International Airport is discharging toxic chemicals from runways into the Chesapeake Bay.

The lawsuit, filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council in New York and three other groups, claims that the airport in Linthicum has polluted three creeks with an ethylene glycol de-icing mixture used on planes.

Ethylene glycol can cause kidney and liver damage if ingested, or eye irritation and headaches if inhaled. The chemical is being released into Maryland waterways because the airport doesn't have an adequate storm water pollution prevention plan and glycol tracking system, the lawsuit alleges.

"The unlawful and excessive discharges of storm water pollution by BWI have introduced and continue to introduce noxious pollutants into" Sawmill Creek, Stony Run and Cabin Branch, all of which ultimately flow into the Patapsco River and the bay, the lawsuit said.

Airport officials labeled the suit unfair and said they have made major improvements to the de-icing fluid containment system.

Pub Date: 3/18/98

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