Cleaning Up the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers Watersheds

Regional Office / Program

Case Overview

Earthjustice, on behalf of the Anacostia Riverkeeper, Potomac Riverkeeper, Friends of the Earth, Waterkeeper Alliance, Pat Munoz and Mac Thornton, has filed a challenge involving a state-issued pollution discharge permit for Montgomery County’s 499-square mile stormwater system.

Clean water groups contend the permit allows ongoing harm to water quality and human health due to excessive discharges of pollutants and trash into the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers watersheds.

The Maryland Department of Environment for Montgomery County, MD itself found that, to meet the state’s own standards, Montgomery County’s stormwater discharges of sediment would need to be reduced by 46 percent, nitrogen and phosphorus by 79 percent, and fecal bacteria by 96 percent.

The Anacostia River.
The Anacostia River. (Photo courtesy of The City Project)

Case Updates

Trash collects in a tributary of the Anacostia River outside of Washington, D.C.
April 9, 2015 Article: Victory

Court Finds That Maryland Failed to Protect Rivers From Pollution

Maryland Appeals Court rules that the state's environmental regulators failed to curb pollution in waterways that flow through the state.

December 6, 2013 document

Montgomery County Stormwater Order

November 21, 2013 Press Release

Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Sends Stormwater Permit Back to Maryland Department of Environment

Decision states that the permit lacks clarity, doesn’t fulfill clean water requirements