Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Forget It Jake, It's Baltimore

When it rains, shit pours. Capital News Service, Months after costly civil lawsuit settlement, Baltimore City’s rivers still polluting

In one of his most viral videos to date, with over three million views on Instagram and close to a million views on TikTok, Baltimore crabber and social media influencer Luke McFadden addresses the camera while standing on his boat in the Chesapeake Bay.

“Every time it rains in Maryland, at least where I’m at, we have garbage like this tire that washes down from places like the Conowingo Dam,” McFadden says.

Using his reach pole, he hoists a massive rubber tire from the water and brings it aboard.

“In addition to the trash, we get this lovely brown, foamy slime on the top, which happens to be raw sewage that dumps out from the Baltimore City wastewater treatment plants,” he says.

McFadden then gestures toward the water, where there is indeed a dark layer of sludge instead of a pale blue hue that most would expect.

“The issue we have here in the Chesapeake Bay is a water quality issue,” he says. “You can catch and throw back as many of whatever it is you want, but nothing is gonna live in a stagnant puddle — not one that gets sewage dumped in it every time it rains.”

Posted to Instagram and TikTok just two months after Baltimore City settled a $4.75 million lawsuit for violations at each of its two wastewater treatment plants, the Jan. 21 video combined for over 4500 comments on both platforms.

“Your city tax dollars at work,” one comment read.

“It does stink at the harbor when it rains,” said another.

But the reality is, sewage is supposed to enter the Chesapeake Bay through the Back and Patapsco Rivers only after it’s been properly treated by the plants which happen to be the largest in Maryland.

And as for “raw sewage,” experts say that’s not exactly the case.

“That’s kind of a misconception – it’s still sewage, but it’s partially treated a lot of times because there is such an influx of rain,” Desiree Greaver, project manager for the Back River Restoration Committee (BRRC), told Capital News Service. “We have these rain events where there’s tons of rain, and the plant can’t handle it so they’ll skip certain steps.”

At this point, one must simply conclude that in Baltimore, graft and corruption are much more important to the local politicians than pollution.

No comments:

Post a Comment