Maryland AG Sues Closed Paper Mill for Polluting Potomac River

“Though shuttered for a year, a Western Maryland paper mill’s byproducts continue to pollute the Potomac River, Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh charged in a federal lawsuit.

The suit filed Thursday, the latest in a battle against the Luke Mill in Allegany County, stems from a fisherman reporting in April 2019 that a black liquid was seeping into the North Branch of the river from the area of the plant.

Tests conducted by both Verso Corp., which owns the mill, and the Maryland Department of the Environment, found the seepage contained levels of mercury, lead and other chemicals that exceeded allowable limits, according to the suit. The discharge appeared to contain “pulping liquors” that result from the paper-making process and are considered “caustic and corrosive” and can cause burns and respiratory problems.”

Jean Marbella reports for the Baltimore Sun May 28, 2020.