January 12, 2016
The PSC granted a request for a postponement of the Jan. 13 hearing on Mattawoman Energy’s request for an amendment to the Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (“CPCN”). Mattawoman requested an expedited request to increase the amount of “dewatering” that they would like to perform for the development of the pipeline.
Construction dewatering is the removal or draining of groundwater or surface water from a riverbed, construction site, caisson, or mine shaft, by pumping or evaporation. On a construction site, this dewatering may be implemented before subsurface excavation for foundations, shoring, or cellar space to lower the water table.
The pipeline path and dewatering process is of extreme concern to local residents, as it follows the path along Brandywine Road, passing both a very large junk yard and to the entrance of the proposed Mattawoman plant itself, which is the location of one of the worst EPA “Superfund” toxic waste sites on the East Coast (the Brandywine DRMO facility).
The Brandywine Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office (DRMO) facility in Brandywine, MD was used to store wastes and excess governmental materials such as jet fuel, explosive ordinance, various oils, and other chemicals. The facility was used by many different DoD operations from the Washington, DC region including: AAFB, Bolling Air Force Base, the Washington Naval Yard, the Naval Surface War fare Center (NSWC)-Indian Head, and White Oak Laboratory (now known as NSWC-White Oak). DRMO site activities contaminated the soil and groundwater with hazardous chemicals.
Some of the contaminants that detected in ground water from the DRMO site are:
|METHYL ETHYL KETONE||X|
Link to information on the Brandywine DRMO Site from “scorecard.goodguides.com”, an environmental watchdog group.
Link to information on the Brandywine DRMO Site from the EPA.
It is not known, yet, which contaminants (if any) stem from the additional commercial/industrial facilities along the proposed pathway (including potential pollutants and remediation efforts that would need to be performed during the “first mile of pipeline”). The proposed pipeline route is adjacent to a very large auto junk yard and several other auto “junk yards” up and down Brandywine Road.
Image from the PSC’s public document showing the proposed pipeline path in the “1st mile”.
The EPA and DoD paid for “city water” to be run to residents and commercial entities around the old DRMO facility. The is fear that if the dewatering process plans for pumping extracted water to the surface, residents may be adversely exposed to toxins.
The EPA and DoD have continuously briefed Brandywine Residents as to the ongoing Superfund cleanup process. During a yearly presentation the Brandywine North Keys Civic Association, EPA and DoD officials explained that it would not be possible to remove all contaminations from the Superfund site, and cited concerns on the actual removal of contaminated earth under the site.
Residents have also expressed concern as to the pipeline’s construction requirements and potential safety impacts to response times from the new Brandywine Volunteer Fire Station and access concerns to Gwynn Park High School, both of which are located within the planned “first mile” in the proposed pipeline pathway.
Unfortunately, Brandywine Elementary is located a few hundred yards from both the DRMO Superfund site, the proposed Mattawoman Power Plant, along the proposed pipeline path.
The new deadline for written comments on the proposed amendment for additional dewatering volume is Feb. 8th and the tentative hearing date is Feb. 18th. Comments may be submitted to:
David J Collins
Maryland Public Service Commission
William Donald Schaefer Tower
6 St. Paul Street, 16th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21202
Re: Case No 9330