April 8, 2009
Members of the Somerset County Sanitary District Commission learned recently that the Maryland Department of the Environment applied for the money to build a new plant in Westover to serve both Princess Anne and Eastern Correctional Institution.
However, the application was made after Sanitary Commission members voted unanimously in January not to apply for funding or to enter into partnerships with any state agencies.
"I don't know what she's trying to prove," Larry Tyler, chairman of the Sanitary Commission, said of Secretary of the Environment Shari Wilson.
Although the Sanitary Commission was ready to respond to Wilson's letter, they were asked to wait until after they met with Somerset County Commissioners, Tyler said.
A request for funding for a RO water system was part of the County Commissioners' $36.3 million wish list for economic stimulus money, but the item was removed a week later at the request of the Sanitary Commission.
Members voted unanimously not to apply for the funding because the Sanitary Commission is in the middle of a lawsuit against MDE in an attempt to get permits for two wells on property adjacent to ECI.
But in her letter, Wilson said the Sanitary Commission's legal position "will not be compromised if you accept the grant and enter into an agreement with the Department of Public Safety & Corrections and Maryland Environmental Service for treating and providing water."
MDE is willing to place a written stipulation in any agreement that it "shall not be used in any way to the detriment of the Sanitary District in the lawsuit," Wilson said in the letter.
In the meantime, the case has not gone to trial. MDE has filed "a flurry of motions" which will likely be discussed at a hearing, although no date has been set for that either, said Robin Cockey, attorney for the Sanitary Commission.
The suit was filed last year after MDE officials refused for several years to issue permits for the wells on property next to ECI unless the county agrees to treat the water to reduce fluoride under goals established by the federal Environmental Protection Agency.
County officials have argued that the fluoride level in the water is considered acceptable under federal standards for drinking water, and that MDE has no authority to deny the permits based only on goals which have never been adopted as enforceable standards by the EPA.
America needs to stop hitting the bottle--the amount of waste is incredible and unnecessary.
Apr 15 2009
Time to go back to the tap: Americans’ bottled water habit costs $100 billion a year and uses 17 million barrels of oil in production alone, according to the Pacific Institute. We have the best tap water in the world, but, due to lack of investment in public supplies, that standard is poised to go downhill. For example, the EPA decided on October 3, 2008, not to regulate perchlorate, a component in rocket fuel and fireworks that disrupts thyroid function, in drinking water.
And reports like this New York Times article on pharmaceutical drugs in tap water make people leery about drinking from the faucet. And houses with old pipes can have lead in the tap water.
If you’re worried about contaminants in your municipal water supply, get more information on what’s in your water by checking out the EPA’s safe water site. Municipal water suppliers are required by law to provide you with a “Right to Know” report listing all of the contaminants in your water, and the National Resources Defense Council offers this online guide to deciphering the report. If your water’s uncontaminated or you’ve simply gotten so used to the taste of bottled that tap tastes icky, split the difference by getting a water filter for your home. There are many choices in a variety of price ranges, from a simple Pur or Brita pitcher to a whole-house reverse osmosis filtration system. Consumer Reports breaks it down for you by price range.
We don’t recommend home reverse osmosis or distillation systems, which cost so much, use so much energy and waste so much water that you may as well be buying bottled. Instead, go for carbon filters, found in carafes and most under-sink systems. Carbon filters take out lead, chlorine byproducts, some parasites, some pesticides, and some organic chemicals, though they won’t remove bacteria, arsenic, and other heavy metals. Most importantly for this argument, carbon filters eliminate unpleasant tastes and odors, making your already-safe tap water tasty, too.
Carbon filters also come in portable models. Water Geeks and Back to the Tap each sell to-go water bottles with a carbon filter built right into the lid so you can fill up at the park water fountain without fear. Our testers say the water tastes great, though the filter makes it a bit hard to draw it out of the bottle.
In addition to Brita and Pur, a new pitcher system we’ve found is Zero Water, an independently certified carbon-plus-extra-goodies filter that’s just hitting the shelves. It comes with an electronic water tester so you can see your tap water go down to zero total dissolved solids after it passes through the filter. It’s pretty cool; we tested it and found the water delicious and dissolved-solids free. The Zero filter takes out everything the carbon filters do, as well as mercury and chromium, and company officials say they’re working on a model that filters out , microorganisms, pesticides and traces of pharmaceutical drugs. We'll keep you posted.
Among the many pleasures Americans enjoy, squeaky clean tap water is right up there with a free press, voting, and rock-n-roll. If you want to know more about your right to clean tap water, read up on the Back to the Tap movement.Sources from: http://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/health/stories/water-filter-news