The Maryland Department of the Environment released its decision regarding the Lakeside housing development discharge permit on Friday afternoon. The MDE ruling considerably limits the project to 100,000 gallons of wastewater per day. The developer had asked for 540,000 gallons per day.
The dramatic reduction by the MDE was a result of the agency’s review of recent data and public comments opposed to the original request.
Organizations such as ShoreRivers and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation expressed mixed responses to the MDE’s permit approval.
CBG’s Eastern Shore Director Alan Girard commented that the “MDE should be given credit for significantly scaling back this permit that posed tremendous risk to water quality on the Eastern Shore.” He added however that the CBF, “remain concerned about the potential precedent this could set by allowing a development to bypass Bay cleanup requirements through spray irrigation on farm fields.”
ShoreRivers’ Matt Pluta added, “as we told MDE in our initial comments, spray irrigation is not an adequate means of disposing wastewater without polluting the river. The intention of these permits is for wastewater sprayed onto fields to be absorbed by crops, but much of the nutrients end up percolating into our groundwater instead.”
At the time of this article, the Lakeside project’s attorney, Ryan D. Showalter, has not issued the developer’s reaction to the MDE decision.
The decision can be read here.