Maryland Attorney General Says Closed Mill is Still Polluting the Potomac

Maryland’s attorney general says byproducts from a closed paper mill are continuing to pollute the Potomac River.

The Baltimore Sun reports that AG Brian Frosh made the claims in a federal lawsuit that was filed Thursday.

The suit involves a mill in the town of Luke in Allegany County. It’s in the northwest corner of the state near the Virginia border. Verso Corp. owns the mill.

Recent tests found that seepage from the shuttered facility had levels of mercury, lead and other chemicals that exceeded allowable limits, the suit said. The discharge appeared to contain materials that result from the paper-making process and are considered “caustic and corrosive.” They can also cause burns and respiratory problems.

The Attorney General had already sued the company in Allegany County Circuit Court in December over what he said were violations of state environmental laws.

The company said in a statement that it’s reviewing the federal filing. It also said that it’s been actively working to address the concerns raised in the suit.

“Verso has been working in cooperation for nearly a year and has a remedial plan approved with state regulators from both Maryland and West Virginia, to take immediate action regarding the Luke Mill closure and impact to the North Branch of the Potomac River to remedy these issues,” the statement said.