Mirant filed a motion June 21 to dismiss charges it violated the federal Clean Water Act, arguing that:
MDE failed to provide enough proof of Mirant's alleged pollution to merit charges,MDE plans to file a response by the July 21 deadline set by the court; a federal judge is scheduled to rule on Mirant's motion September 8.
The company was and still is in compliance with its permits,
The company did disclose all of the pollutants,
MDE failed to follow the proper procedures for filing a lawsuit under the Clean Water Act.
MDE failed to meet its burden by not specifying when most of the alleged illegal discharging took place, where and how it happened, and at what levels.
The Brandywine landfill stores the waste byproducts of coal combustion from Mirant's Chalk Point Generating Plant in Aquasco, Maryland. Coal combustion waste byproducts have been stored at the landfill since 1970. The landfill features four disposal sites for waste byproducts; three were constructed before Mirant bought the site and do not have special liners to prevent pollutants from seeping into groundwater, according to MDE's complaint. The fourth disposal site is the only one still in use and does have the protective liner.
MDE is pursuing its case against Mirant with assistance from several environmental advocacy groups, including the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Defenders of Wildlife, EarthReports Inc., Patuxent Riverkeeper and Sierra Club. (Gazette.net, 7/2/2010)