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MD Sues Mirant Over Toxic Leaching

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By Sabri Ben-Achour

The State of Maryland says toxic chemicals are leaching into groundwater and a creek at a coal ash disposal site in Brandywine, Maryland. Maryland is suing the site's owner, Mirant power, in Federal court.

Arsenic, selenium, and cadmium are among the dozens of toxic contaminants in the water at Mataponi creek and in well samples according to the State of Maryland.

The state blames Mirant power company, saying the chemicals are leaching from unlined pits the company uses to store coal ash - the byproduct of coal fired power plants. The pits date back to the 70's. Dawn Stoltzfus is a spokesperson for the Maryland Department of the Environment.

"There's no immediate public health risk because people are not on well water nearby, but coal combustion byproducts are serious issues and they should not be getting into any water way," says Stoltzfus.

Maryland is suing Mirant power in federal court, it wants the disposal site shut down and a monitoring system put in place. In a statement, Mirant says it is in compliance with permits, and it is working with the state to address it's concerns.

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