It’s Time to Act on Conowingo Dam Cleanup

The time is now for residents throughout the Chesapeake Bay region to encourage the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) to value the health of the Chesapeake Bay and the lives and livelihoods of those who depend on it over the profits of a billion dollar corporation! After years of lawsuits and delays by Constellation, the owner of Conowingo Dam, the State of Maryland needs to make decisions about the water quality certification (WQC) for the dam. As the recent court decision made clear, the WQC must be included in Constellation’s 50-year federal license to operate the dam.

We’ve been fighting for a fair and protective license for over 10 years. Secretary McIlwain is new to the problems with Conowingo Dam and needs to hear from you. Take action & sign petition below by August 1.

For almost 100 years, the Conowingo Dam has spanned the Susquehanna River, the largest river on the east coast, just ten miles from where it flows into Chesapeake Bay. And over that time, Constellation did not maintain the reservoir behind the dam. It is now full of sediment and pollution which flows into the Bay. Not only has the dam blocked access to hundreds of miles of the river and streams for migratory fish and disrupted the natural flow of the lower river, it is also a major source of pollution to the Bay. When the next major storm hits the dam, the pollution released will be catastrophic. Historically, major storms including Hurricane Agnes (1972) and Tropical Storm Lee (2011), caused extensive destruction and cost billions of dollars of damage to surrounding communities from debris and sediment overflows.

If Constellation wants to claim the dam is a clean source of energy, it’s time for them to clean up their act and take action to protect the Chesapeake Bay and Susquehanna River – resources that belong to all of us!

MDE opened a public comment period from June 30 to August 1 to “solicit public comments limited to newly available data, science or information related to water quality standards or impacts since April 27, 2018.”

Constellation, a $30 billion corporation, has been using a public resource for private gain for decades. It’s time to let MDE know that the next 50-year federal license for Conowingo Dam has to include conditions that protect the River, the Bay and all of the communities and businesses that rely on it. It’s time to let MDE know that Constellation has to pay its fair share for the cleanup at the dam. It’s time for Maryland to stay strong on what is required to restore the River and protect the Bay. Sign the petition by August 1. Go to for more information.