State fines companies for water pollution

February 19, 2000|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

The Maryland Department of the Environment fined two Allegany County companies yesterday for violating water-quality standards in the Potomac River basin, the state announced.

After the department filed a complaint in Allegany County Circuit Court, the Upper Potomac River Commission was fined $360,000. The commission treats industrial and municipal waste.

Westvaco Corp., which operates a paper mill in the region, was fined $90,000. Neither company admitted wrongdoing.

As part of the agreement, the Department of the Environment also required the river commission to complete upgrades to its plant by Nov. 1 and to be in compliance with state water-quality standards by April 30, 2002.

The filing follows the American Canoe Association's announcement in December that it intended to file a lawsuit against the companies over the effect on the quality of the water in the Potomac basin. The state took up the group's cause and found that the companies "violated coliform effluent limitations repeatedly" between February 1995 and last month.

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