A sewage overflow has prompted Maryland officials to close part of the Potomac River to shellfish harvesting for the second time in recent weeks.
The Maryland Department of the Environment issued an emergency order Monday closing about 180 acres of the Potomac River offshore from the St. George Island area of St. Mary’s County, officials said in a news release.
After the St. Mary’s County Metropolitan Commission reported the spill Monday, the department dispatched an inspector. The order was issued when it was determined that sewage likely entered the river, officials said.
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The commission reported that the overflow that began Nov. 24 was stopped Monday and entered ditches that drain to the river. The department estimates about 2,500 gallons entered the river and about 11,000 gallons were vacuumed from ditches. There are no aquaculture leases in the emergency closure area, officials said.
Sewage spills in the St. George Island area prompted temporary closures in St. George Creek about two weeks ago and in January. The department will request a meeting with the commission on the repeated system failures and plans to address the sewage spills, officials said.