(MENAFN) A contractor in Baltimore has agreed to relocate the processing of hundreds of thousands of gallons of toxic wastewater from the site of last month's Norfolk Southern train derailment, following opposition from local officials. Clean Harbors of Baltimore Environmental Services announced on Tuesday that it will process approximately 600,000 to 800,000 gallons of water from East Palestine, Ohio elsewhere.
The derailment site had contracted with Clean Harbors to ship massive amounts of contaminated water to Baltimore, where the water would have been piped into the city's aging and leaky sewer system before being transported to the Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant. Last year, the state declared the plant to be on the brink of "catastrophic failure," and just last month, one of the plant's buildings dedicated to processing sewage sludge suffered a massive explosion, requiring its closure.
The Baltimore city council voted on Monday to ask the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reconsider allowing the wastewater to be sent to Baltimore. However, the agency has refused to hear any objections, citing that blocking hazardous materials from interstate commerce would be a violation of the Interstate Commerce Clause of the Constitution.
The situation has raised concerns among residents and officials about the safety of Baltimore's infrastructure and the potential health risks associated with the transportation and processing of toxic wastewater. While the relocation of the processing of the contaminated water is a positive step, there are still concerns about the safety of Baltimore's wastewater treatment infrastructure and the need for improved regulations to prevent similar situations from occurring in the future.
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