SOUTH PORTLAND (AP) – The cleanup of Long Creek, a waterway that has its outlet near the Maine Mall in South Portland, is emerging as a test case for how the state deals with the growing problem of stormwater pollution.

A committee made up of officials and property owners is expected to unveil a plan this summer to restore the stream, which is now regarded as one of the state’s dirtiest waterways.

An environmental group that’s part of the committee filed a federal petition last week to try to force landowners throughout the 3.5-square-mile watershed to contain or filter runoff by means of a pollution permitting system that would be unique to Maine.

The outcome of the Long Creek case could have an impact on 32 polluted urban streams in Maine as well as property owners and communities that would have to pay for the cleanups.

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