The Chesapeake Ranch Water Co. has filed a second lawsuit against the Calvert County Board of Commissioners and the Maryland Department of the Environment, seeking to prevent the county from building a pipeline next to the utility's facilities.
The suit, filed Thursday in Baltimore City Circuit Court, alleges that the county has not received the proper environmental permits to build a two-mile water line and production well in Lusby. The utility also said the county's water service plans for Lusby are inadequately designed, a waste of taxpayer money and a threat to the 10,000 users of Chesapeake's water system.
The legal action is the latest move in a dispute that began in February when the county decided to supply water to the growing town center in Lusby instead of using Chesapeake.
The water company lost a federal lawsuit to block the county's plans but has appealed the decision.
Calvert officials said the utility's claims are baseless. "We've been through a federal lawsuit and won," said commissioners President David F. Hale (R-Owings). "I cannot believe a state suit is going to be any different."
In the new lawsuit, the utility seeks a temporary restraining order that would block the county from doing any more construction. Stephen D. Ball, an attorney for Chesapeake, said the county's decision to draw water from a Lusby aquifer would force the utility to drill even deeper for water to serve its customers.
"That could cost us hundreds of thousand of dollars," he said. "The county's plans are going to severely hurt our business."