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EPA Orders Companies to Provide Clean Water to Resident

Release Date: 10/22/1999
Contact Information: Roy Seneca (215) 814-5567

Roy Seneca (215) 814-5567

ELLERSLIE, Md. -- The Environmental Protection Agency issued an emergency order for two companies to supply clean water to an Ellerslie homeowner and to clean up a site where storm water runoff from a road salt storage facility contaminated the resident’s private water well.

The EPA consent order, which was signed by both companies, alleges that Black Diamond Energies, Inc., of Hyndman, Pa. failed to properly maintain a salt pile at its facility along the Pennsylvania-Maryland border in Bedford County, Pa. Cargill, Inc., of North Olstead, Ohio supplies the Black Diamond Energies facility with road salt that is sold to state, county, and local governments for winter highway maintenance.

The EPA alleges that storm water runoff from a salt pile at the site contaminated a private water well located about one-quarter mile to the south in Allegany County, Md. Tests of the well water show high concentrations of sodium and chloride. An EPA inspection in May 1999 noted that a salt pile was not covered and that there was storm water runoff into a drainage ditch that runs into a nearby stream.

Within 10 days of the EPA order, Black Diamond Energies and Cargill must supply the affected family with a temporary alternative water supply, and within 120 days, the companies must supply a permanent alternative water supply. Also, within 90 days of this order, the companies are required to either remove the salt from the site or take steps to bring the storm water runoff in compliance with state and local regulations.

The companies have been cooperating with EPA from the outset and expect to have the affected residence hooked up to a public water supply within two weeks.