Monitoring sought of river discharges

Colonial Pipeline Co. should contribute something other than polluted water to the south branch of the Patapsco River, people who fish, wade and canoe in the river told state officials last night.

About 20 residents of Carroll, Howard and Baltimore counties called for independent monitoring of the South Carroll company's discharges into the river at a public hearing conducted by the Maryland Department of the Environment at Sykesville's Town House.


They also urged the petroleum distribution company, which uses water from the river, to test its petroleum pipelines and tanks to help improve water quality.

The public hearing gave people a chance to comment on Colonial's request to renew its permit to use water from the south branch to test oil storage tanks and pipelines for leaks. The company discharges the water back into the river.


The MDE's tentative decision is to issue the permit.

"Somehow, they should give something back besides polluted water," said Philip Krista, an Ellicott City resident and river guide.

Sykesville Councilman Jonathan Herman expressed similar sentiments.

"I use the river, I wade in the river," he said. "Our concern is that the river quality has been declining over the last several years. To add pollutants is not right."

Steve Stover, a Relay resident who canoes on the river, called for an independent check of Colonial's tests showing how much hydrocarbons, lead, benzene and other substances it discharges into the river.

Mr. Stover said that although he cannot attribute the loss to any source, he has seen submerged aquatic vegetation disappear in the last few years after having been in the river at least 13 years.

The MDE will hold the hearing record open until Monday for written comments.