Concerns Grow For Nitrogen Levels in Transquaking River in Dorch - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Concerns Grow For Nitrogen Levels in Transquaking River in Dorchester County

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LINKWOOD, Md.- A poultry rendering company in Dorchester County is looking to expand its processing, but neighbors are concerned for the effects that could have on the Transquaking River.

In 2000, the Environmental Protection Agency established that the Transquaking River had reached it's total maximum daily load (TDML) for nitrogen and phosphorous.  But Dorchester Citizens for Planned Growth President Fred Pomeroy says Valley Proteins, Inc. is looking to discharge nearly five times its current wastewater outfall.

"The Transquaking is already identified as poor to very poor water quality and we're concerned that that is just going to get much worse now," Pomeroy said. 

Valley Proteins essentially recycles chicken scraps and converts it into cooking oil products.  But despite the benefits to the company's operations, Pomeroy says he's afraid the nitrogen in that wastewater will negatively affect an already struggling watershed.

"We've got a lot of questions for the Department of Environment, basically how can they approve this expansion and not negatively impact a river that's already under severe stress?" Pomeroy said. 

At a panel discussion on Thursday night, any questions that could not be answered by the expert speakers were placed in a pile to submit to the Maryland Department of Environment.  MDE would be the agency to grant any additional permit applications from Valley Proteins.

"You could almost call it a canary in a coal mine for the bay because if this little river dies, then others like it are probably going to do the same thing," Pomeroy said. 

Valley Proteins and the state were invited to the discussion on Thursday.  The rendering company said it would not be attending, but did not respond to WBOC's request for comment. 

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