Pocomoke Looking to Avoid Md. Dept of Environment Penalties - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Pocomoke Looking to Avoid Md. Dept of Environment Penalties

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Pocomoke City water tower. (Photo: Bill Mich) Pocomoke City water tower. (Photo: Bill Mich)

POCOMOKE CITY, Md. - The Maryland Department of the Environment is working with leaders in Pocomoke City on a resolution to an investigation that uncovered numerous environmental violations in the Worcester County city.

Officials with MDE sent WBOC a letter that was mailed to Pocomoke leaders late this summer.  The letter highlighted various violations, some dating back to 2011, that occurred in Pocomoke and the possible penalties that could follow if corrective action is not taken.

According to MDE, several violations were found at Pocomoke's waste water treatment plant, Clarke Avenue pump station and other sites in town.  Examples include the water from the pump station exceeding allowable nitrogen and phosphorus levels between 2011 and 2015.  Also, chlorinated water was being discharged directly into the Pocomoke River during a 2013 MDE inspection.

The news of the violations has some neighbors in Pocomoke concerned.

"Well they have to find out what's going on and repair it.  Do what they have to do to have it be right, " said 12-year Pocomoke resident, Robert Elmer.

MDE officials say they are currently working with Pocomoke City leaders to resolve these issues.  However, without a resolution, the matter could go to court and then Pocomoke could face a fine of up to $65,000 per day of violation.

WBOC reached out to Pocomoke City leaders, who said they have another meeting early next week with representatives from MDE.  MDE officials say there is no firm date for an ultimate resolution but the department is expected a plan of corrective action from the city by Nov. 2.

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