Editorial:MTBE in Maryland

Fear has a way of brushing aside potentially comforting facts. Fear over methyl tertiary butyl ether has gripped Maryland. The gasoline oxygenate has shown up in the state's water supplies, as it has elsewhere in the US. The phenomenon became a major news event in June with reports of well contamination around the small towns of Upper Crossroads and Fallston, in Harford County northeast of Baltimore.In most of the wells, MTBE concentrations fell below the state's health-response threshold of 20 ppb. At one home close to a service station, however, the concentration was 300 ppb—a finding that made state officials intensify testing, which led to detection of MTBE in more wells...

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