Janice Wiles testimony opposing the zoning change for the Casey Property

EXCERPT: “So just to be clear on the connection between the Casey development and Frederick City drinking water, in case you don’t know about the public drinking water system that serves Frederick City. Forty-two percent of the drinking water for Frederick City is surface water supplied by Lake Linganore. Lake LInganore is fed by the Lower Linganore Creek and its tributaries. The Casey property, Eaglehead, Smith/Cline, Blentlinger and Delaplaine are in the Lower Linganore Creek watershed. When these properties are cleared and converted to houses, roads, lawns more mud flows into the creeks when it rains. Polluted/muddy surface water mixing with chlorine makes byproducts that can cause health risks to public drinking water users.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is the oral testimony by Janice Wiles in opposition to the Zoning Map Amendment for the Casey Property, before the Frederick County Board of County Commissioners, on July 15, 2014. After the public testimony, which was entirely in opposition to rezoning, the commissioners vote 4-1 to rezone the 634-acre expanse of farms, forests and streams – streams that flow into Lake Linganore, a source of drinking water for the City of Frederick.


To the Frederick County Commissioners:

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I speak for all those residents in Frederick City who do not know that their drinking water is compromised by the development you approve, or are not able to come to speak out. Many do not understand the connection between an approval of R-13-03 to clear the Casey land to put more than 1000 more dwellings, compact yards, roads and barren landscapes and carcinogens in their drinking water.

My review of tap water tests submitted to the State of Maryland by the City of Frederick reveal widespread contamination of city tap water with dangerous levels of potentially cancer causing chlorination by-products.

surfacewatersourcesThe contaminants, known as disinfection byproducts, are formed during the water treatment process when chlorine mixes with organic material (ie dirt) in the water. Two of the most well studied by-products are routinely found in Frederick City’s drinking water at levels posing a potential health risk to Frederick City residents.

In 2013 City of Frederick tap water violated federal health standards for carcinogenic chlorination byproducts. In August of that year three of the city’s eight official sampling sites had contaminant levels above what is considered safe for drinking.

As a Frederick City public water user I add my name to the list of people who request that you do not approve R-13-03.

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So just to be clear on the connection between the Casey development and Frederick City drinking water, in case you don’t know about the public drinking water system that serves Frederick City. Forty-two percent of the drinking water for Frederick City is surface water supplied by Lake Linganore. Lake LInganore is fed by the Lower Linganore Creek and its tributaries. The Casey property, Eaglehead, Smith/Cline, Blentlinger and Delaplaine are in the Lower Linganore Creek watershed. When these properties are cleared and converted to houses, roads, lawns more mud flows into the creeks when it rains. Polluted/muddy surface water mixing with chlorine makes byproducts that can cause health risks to public drinking water users.

linganorewatersheddevelopmentpipeline

With the current system there is not a thing more Frederick City can do to clean up polluted source water coming from Linganore, the onus has to be on Frederick County to not pollute it in the first place. Commissioner Young, you talk about how well you partner with the City, well what about a partnership that keeps our drinking water safe to drink? A partnership that isn’t just a bunch of PR hooha and actually helps the residents of this county and city?

Water chlorination is no substitute for cleaning up Frederick’s source waters. THE ONLY affordable way to clean up source water is to protect it. Lower Lake Linganore watershed – where this Casey and many other large developments approved by this BOCC are located – is called a “Source Water Protection Area.” And, it was until you all came along. Now it is Source Water Destruction Area and the people of Frederick City will continue to suffer from contaminated drinking water. I urge all Frederick City residents to use carbon filters. Pregnant women do not drink unfiltered water. And moms, do not use unfiltered tap water for your young children.

Additionally let it be known that this Board of County Commission weakened protections for our streams, which means continued high levels of contamination to try to clean the water. And, it most likely means increased flooding since there is will be less vegetation to slow heavy rain events.


Frederick News Post coverage of the hearing and BOCC vote
BoCC rezones property near New Market
Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Muddy County Streams to Blame for City’s Contaminated Tap Water
by Janice Wiles
June 19, 2014

Casey Map Amendment: Staff Report (as a pdf file)

You can watch the entire hearing, or any part of it here:
BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS’ MEETING, TUESDAY, JULY 15, 2014

Friends of Frederick County on the web

Friends of Frederick County on Facebook

Cleanwater Linganore on the web

Cleanwater Linganore on Facebook

fredericktapwatercontamination

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