In 2012 Dorchester County Maryland initiated an organization of counties to help address environmental and economic issues related to the Chesapeake Bay. Frederick County was one of the initial parties in this coalition, which is called the Clean Chesapeake Coalition (CCC). The CCC has now grown to nine counties, including Dorchester, Allegany, Caroline, Kent, Frederick, Carroll, Cecil, Wicomico and Harford. The organization is non-partisan.
One of efforts taken by the CCC was to intervene in the relicensing application of Exelon Corporation before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Exelon operates the hydro-electric facility at Conowingo Dam (on the Susquehanna River, just north of the Chesapeake Bay). Exelon seeks a 46-year permit to operate the hydro-electric facility, and Exelon is subject to Clean Water Act requirements.
CCC successfully intervened in this re-licensing case in order to make the Federal Government, the State of Maryland and Exelon Corporation to comply with the stormwater remediation requirements of the CWA, which neither Maryland, the EPA or Exelon were proposing to do. This is a gigantic, inexcusable omission. Where 40% of the pollution in the Bay is caused by water coming over the Conowingo Dam, it is irresponsible and indefensible to neglect correcting this “point source,” while requiring counties to make expensive and ineffective remediation actions. Those sincere and serious about cleaning the Bay will join with the CCC in addressing the elephant in the room—the Conowingo Dam.
[youtube width=”500″ height=”333″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkMJ3MsX8fM[/youtube]Conowingo Dam Video by the Clean Chesapeake Coalition