Take action to tell Governor Hogan and the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) that they need to start over with their flawed deal with Exelon on the Conowingo Dam. The current settlement agreement let’s Exelon off the hook with a minimal investment in the dam cleanup. Instead, we need innovative, comprehensive, fair solutions to this major environmental threat to the Susquehanna River, the Chesapeake Bay, and tributaries such as the Sassafras River. The current settlement agreement only requires Exelon to pay for 3% of what they need to contribute to adequately address the problem.
In addition, this settlement agreement made behind closed doors falls far short of protecting Maryland’s waterways and requires the state to waive its authority to protect local water quality from impacts of dams, without any details on how the agreement will protect water quality. Affected communities and groups, including Waterkeepers Chesapeake and Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper, were excluded from the discussions.
Exelon is seeking a 50-year license to operate the Conowingo Dam without having to comply with the pollution reductions called for by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE); in fact, over the past year, Exelon has filed a series of legal challenges to avoid meeting its clean water requirements.
We need your help! There are 3 things you can do:
1. Tell Governor Hogan to withdraw the current settlement immediately. We need a settlement that is transparent, fair and doesn’t set a bad precedent by waiving the state’s authority to protect local waterways. Use our form below or click here to send an email today!
2. Sign our petition, and we will submit your comments to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The comment period ends January 19, 2020.
The legal battles over this 50-year permit have been going on for several years. But even with these delays, it is not acceptable to have a state waive its enforcement authority based on a payment of money that provides no assurance of water quality improvement. Additionally, the public and interested parties like Waterkeepers Chesapeake and Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper simply must have input into what will happen to the Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay over the next 50 years. As it is now, virtually all of the substantive portions of the settlement will not be incorporated into the 50 year federal license agreement – which means there is no public input, scrutiny and, more importantly, no ability to enforce these provisions.
We need to hold all Bay states accountable for reducing their pollution as well. However, Exelon is the only entity that profits from the water flowing through the dam. No one should be allowed to profit from a public natural resource without having to contribute to the protection and restoration of that resource. 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. This is the law from the Federal Power Act enacted by Teddy Roosevelt and remains the law today.