BALTIMORE – Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh, on behalf of the Maryland Department of the Environment, today filed a civil complaint in the Circuit Court for St. Mary’s County against the St. Mary’s County Metropolitan Commission (MetCom) to request civil penalties and an injunction ordering MetCom to cease sewage overflows from its sanitary sewer system and to perform necessary corrective action.
MetCom owns and operates sanitary sewer systems located throughout St. Mary’s County.
MetCom’s sanitary sewer systems convey sewage from homes, businesses, and industrial facilities to various wastewater treatment facilities.
From 2017 to present, MetCom discharged at least 2,170,876 gallons of untreated sewage from its sanitary sewer systems in 58 sanitary sewer overflow (SSO) events.
These SSOs discharged raw sewage unlawfully to the ground surface, waters of the State, and/or waters of the United States. In addition, oysters that were harvested and served to the public following an SSO on October 28, 2021 purportedly caused an outbreak of foodborne illness in Virginia.
“We have charged MetCom with multiple violations of the most fundamental laws that protect public health and the environment,” said Attorney General Frosh. “Releasing raw sewage could not be more dangerous. We will hold them accountable.”
The complaint requests the Circuit Court to impose civil penalties on MetCom for seven SSOs that occurred in 2022 and an injunction to compel MetCom to cease its SSOs and upgrade its system to operate in compliance with State and federal law.