Transquaking River Watershed
The Transquaking Forum, hosted by the League of Women Voters of the Mid-Shore and Dorchester Citizens for Planned Growth, was held on November 28th, 2018. The forum was well attended by interested local citizens.
Prior to the Forum, DCPG joined with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, ShoreRivers, and the Mid-Shore League of Women Voters to compose a letter to MDE Secretary to pose questions and concerns regarding the proposed Valley Proteins expansion and the threats to water quality from this expansion and other stressors in the watershed. The letter and MDE's response are below.
This is an ongoing concern. The public hearing date has not yet been set for issuing the permit to Valley Protein.
Transquaking River Overview
The Transquaking River originates near East New Market and flows south to the Chesapeake Bay through Fishing Bay. The Transquaking watershed has an area of approximately 69,800 acres and is entirely within Dorchester County.
From East New Market to Higgins Mill Pond is non-navigable and nontidal. Below Higgins Mill Pond to Fishing Bay is tidal and navigable.
Higgins Mill Pond was a source of drinking water at one time but now experiences blooms of toxic algae.
Land use in the watershed is approximately 56% forested, 40% agricultural, and 4% urban.
Under Maryland Surface Water Use Designation of COMAR, the designated use is "water contact recreation, and protection of nontidal warmwater aquatic life." Portions of the lower river have a designated use "support of estuarine and marine aquatic life and shellfish harvesting."
The Integrated Report of Surface Water Quality in Maryland establishes a listing of impaired river segments in the state and establishes limits for the identified pollutants. The Transquaking River has listings for pollutants including; Total Nitrogen (TN), Total Phosphorous (TP), Total Suspended Solids (TSS), and Impacts to Biological Communities. The measure of biological health under several indices rates the river as "poor to very poor."
Links for more information:
PDF - MDE Watershed Report for Biological Impairment of the Transquaking River Watershed in Dorchester County, Maryland Biological Stressor Identification Analysis Results and Interpretation. January 2012
DCPG has been monitoring water quality at locations on the Transquaking River for 10 years.
Valley Protein Facility Expansion
Valley Protein Facility Expansion
Water Appropriations & Use Permit
Public Documents Associated with Valley Proteins, Inc. Water Appropriation and Use Permit
Updated October 5, 2018
Source: Maryland Department of Environment Water and Science Administration Water Supply Program
Contact: Norman Lazarus, Water Supply Program (410-537-3590)
“Water Appropriation and Use Permit” Permit #DO1951G001(11) (5 pages);
List of property owners (1 page) (Attached as “Appendix A” to “Water Appropriation and Use Permit”).
Notice to Property Owners and Others: September 26 transmittal letter to Property owners, public officials, interested persons and the applicant (1 page); Response to Comments Received; Public Informational hearing held on February 27, 2018 (7 pages) ; Impact Analysis Summary (2 pages); and Fact Sheet Judicial Review Process (1 page).
"Notice of Application Received for State Permit and Opportunity for Hearing Issued January 11, 2018" Dorchester Banner January 10, 2018.
Air Quality Permit Renewal
Public Documents Associated with Valley Proteins, Inc. Air Quality Permit Renewal Application
Updated February 27, 2018
Source: Maryland Department of Environment Air & Radiation Management Administration (ARA)
Air Quality Permit Renewal Application #019-0029 renewed with effective date of November 1, 2017 and expiration date of October 31, 2022.
E-mail from Marcie Gurley February 27, 2018 regarding odor complaint process and public participation during permit renewal. Citizens should report odor or nuisance complaints to the Complaint Line at 410-537-3215. Frank Courtright is the Program Manager of the Air Quality Compliance Program.
Beaver Run Mobile Home Park
Beaver Run Mobile Home Park in Linkwood, MD 21835
Groundwater Permit 14-DP-3811
The following documents note points along the last three and half years from the proposed groundwater discharge permit through compliance and non-compliance, and finally toward a consent agreement.
A. Notice of Tentative Determination, Informational Meeting and Public Hearing Dorchester Banner March 25, 2015.
B. MDE Groundwater Discharge Permit Summary Report and Fact Sheet, Public Hearing May 28, 2015.
D. MDE issued groundwater Permit #14-DP-3811 to ACG, Maryland, LLC. September 1, 2015.
E. Citizen Referral/Complaint Form September 27, 2016. DCPG inquires about ECHO/EPA website showing BRMHP in “Significant Non Compliance” status for nitrogen July-September, 2016.
F. January 8, 2018 citizen complaint to Dorchester County Department of Health (not attached).
G. April 30, 2018 MDE summarizes allegations; invites ACG to an “informal meeting” to discuss the situation.
H. Notice of Referral to Office of Attorney General for legal action September 24, 2018.
Question: Is there a consent agreement?