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State should clean up its act [Letter]

I can't recall the last time that a commercial real estate development site spilled more than 3 million gallons of raw sewage into the Maryland waterways but that's what the state of Maryland did last week ("3 million-gallon sewage spill reported at Wagner's Point," Aug. 15). Maryland has instituted overwhelming changes over the last few years on commercial real estate development concerning storm water runoff on all development sites throughout the state. These changes were made to control the amount of rain water that leaves commercial sites. It dramatically increases the cost of development and diminishes the competitive advantages of recruiting businesses to the state. To make it even more expensive for businesses to thrive here, the state has added a rain tax to all commercial developments.

The Sun's very small article acknowledged that the state is responsible for more than 3 million gallons of raw sewage that spilled into the Patapsco River and Jones Falls from the Patapsco Wastewater Treatment Plant in Wagner's Point during last week's downpour. Another overflow at the Patapsco and Shell Road Plant spilled 170,300 gallons of raw stage into the river during the same storm. A third raw sewage spill released 23,000 gallons of sewage into the Jones Falls from the 1900 block of Falls Road.

The state likes to blame commercial developments and businesses for the poor quality of water in the Chesapeake Bay, yet I can't remember the last time a commercial development site spilled 3 million gallons of sewage into a Maryland river. If any had, it would be on the front page of The Baltimore Sun. The state should look at their own practices, and The Sun should cover these events fairly. Last week's spills put both our seafood and recreation at grave risk.

Susan Shaw, Baltimore

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