The Mettiki Coal operation in Western Maryland is suspected of periodically discharging contaminated water which makes its way into drinking wells and the North Branch of the Potomac River. Past inspections have shown evidence of possible metals pollution. The Mettiki facility has submitted a request for a reissuance of its Clean Water Act discharge (NPDES) permit and there is a virtual public hearing on March 24 from 5-7 p.m. for everyone to let the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) how they feel.
To sign up to attend the hearing, you can complete this Sign-Up Form. Be sure to follow the instructions on the confirmation page to sign up for GoToWebinar also, as both forms are needed to register you for the meeting.
Here’s more information about the permit and the application — make sure you insert 15DP1422 in the ‘State Num” box and then scroll down to click on the “More Info” box — don’t blame us for how cumbersome this is!
Brent will be advocating for a stronger discharge permit to ensure that the operation’s discharges cannot pollute Sand Run, the tributary of the Potomac that flows near the site. He will also be sure that his (and our) voice will be heard about the in-stream pond used as the source of water for coal washing and also as a settling pond for pollutants. The in-stream pond is essentially a sink for heavy metals, which, during a major rainstorm, could send a pulse of pollution into Sand Run and into the North Branch of the Potomac.