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Maryland Environmental Officials Issue Emergency Order For Potomac River Following Sewage Overflow – CBS Baltimore

Maryland Environmental Officials Issue Emergency Order For Potomac River Following Sewage Overflow – CBS Baltimore

Maryland Environmental Officials Issue Emergency Order For Potomac River Following Sewage Overflow – CBS Baltimore

BALTIMORE (WJZ). Following a sewage overflow, the Maryland Department of the Environment issued an emergency order to shut down a portion of the Potomac River that is near the Virginia shoreline for shellfish harvesting.

Today’s order was issued by the department. Authorities said that the order applies to the Potomac River, but not to the Maryland shoreline.

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Maryland officials are concerned over an area west of the Potomac River. It is also south of U.S. Route 301 at Virginia’s Upper Machodoc Creek.

After receiving a call from Virginia health officials about the creek’s sewage overflow, they decided to close the area to oyster and shellfish production.

Authorities have stated that the sewage overflow was stopped. However, the area will remain closed until February 12, which is the required waiting period after a sewage spillage has ceased. The area could see shellfish harvesting begin as early as February 12.

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The water is contaminated with microscopic organisms, which shellfish use to get their food. If the water has been polluted, the filtering that shellfish use for their food can result in the concentration of disease-causing organisms.

Weekend shellfish harvesting is prohibited. Officials from the state government believe that there are no oyster aquaculture leases within the affected area.

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According to authorities, the Maryland Department of Environment and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Natural Resources Police are working together to mitigate any potential issues stemming out of the sewage backup. The department is also in touch with the Potomac River Fisheries Commission.

According to authorities, Maryland officials are working with Virginia health and environment officials to coordinate their efforts. They expect to receive more information about the impact of the overflow next Wednesday. Once oysters can safely be harvested and public health is protected, they will remove the emergency closure.

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The emergency order is not applicable to fishing or crabbing.

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