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When the Maryland General Assembly convenes next week, a package of bills regarding the Washington Suburban Sanitation Commission will be awaiting lawmakers.
Del. Tom Hucker (D-Montgomery County) has pre-filed four bills regarding the utility that provides water to both Prince George's and Montgomery Counties. One makes the WSSC test for chemicals that are not covered by federal environmental laws passed in the 1990s.
"28 chemicals and two viruses. These are industrial chemicals that are carcinogens, some hormones, and some viruses that are more widely seen than in the past," Hucker explains.
Among the chemicals that Hucker wants water tested for is PFOA, which was used in a lot of non-stick cookware. The other bills would make the WSSC post all sewage leaks that occur in its system on the commission's website, as well as in public places like parks where waterways like creeks and streams could be affected.
The measures are not a sign of displeasure with WSSC, says Hucker. "I think generally people are happy, but there are concerns out there," he says.
Montgomery County lawmakers have pre-filed more than 20 bills before session starts on Jan. 9.