We ask you to send an email today to your Maryland state representatives urging them to support Conowingo Dam Emergency Legislation (HB427/SB540). This bipartisan bill would prevent Maryland from waiving its Water Quality Certification authority in any agreement, including the settlement agreement with Exelon on the Conowingo Dam 50-year federal relicensing. The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) waived its authority under the federal Clean Water Act to require a Water Quality Certification for Conowingo Dam – and $172 million a year for pollution reductions – in the proposed settlement now awaiting Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approval.
We need your help today to ask for a vote in the House and Senate committees before crossover day on March 22! Email your legislators today!
Without a Water Quality Certificate, there are no assurances that MDE and Exelon’s proposed settlement would result in cleaner water. The State of Maryland should never waive its right to a Water Quality Certification, especially not in the 50-year license of Conowingo Dam, which has such an enormous environmental impact both upstream and downstream.
If the state moves forward on the current settlement agreement, Maryland will lose out on billions of dollars of cleanup support from Exelon over the next 50 years, forcing taxpayers to pick up the tab. And there will be no public accountability measures to ensure Exelon meets the cleanup terms under the settlement. This bipartisan emergency legislation would immediately put a stop to this flawed settlement.
Exelon is the only entity that profits from the water flowing through the dam. The Susquehanna River is a public resource and should not be sold off to a private company for exclusive use without ensuring that the impacts to the public and water quality have been properly mitigated. The current settlement agreement made behind closed door only requires Exelon to pay for 1% of what they need to contribute to adequately address the problem.
Watermen — whose livelihoods are already being affected by Chesapeake Bay pollution – and Maryland taxpayers should not have to bear the financial responsibility for pollution from Conowingo Dam.
More in on Conowingo Dam HERE.