Law Clinic Files Suit Against Chemical Company

Asserting a violation of the federal Clean Water Act, students seek an end to pollutants’ release into the Eastern Shore’s Chester River.

March 18, 2008

Jane F. Barrett, J.D.

Jane F. Barrett, J.D.

The School of Law's Environmental Law Clinic filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Baltimore on March 12 against the Velsicol Chemical Corp. for violations of the federal Clean Water Act at the company’s Chestertown manufacturing facility. The suit asserts that the plant continues to release pollutants into local waterways without the necessary permit.

Jane Barrett, JD, associate professor at the School and director of the clinic, says the company is polluting waters in a tributary of the Chester River by dumping phosphorus and DEHP, a chemical used in the manufacturing process, and the Maryland Department of the Environment is not doing enough. A citizens group that Barrett represents was told that it would interfere in talks between the department and the company. Barrett says she hopes the lawsuit will produce "transparency in government and more citizen involvement."

Click here to see the story that topped the 6 p.m. edition of Baltimore’s highest-rated news broadcast on the day the suit was filed.

Media Contact:

Jamie Smith
Director of Communications
Phone: 410-706-7239
Email:

jrsmith @ law.umaryland.edu

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