Cedarville Community Event

We were the largest group this far for community education. We are concerned for the fish hatchery at Cedarville State Forest which is also a park where people camp, hike, and more. We hiked to the power lines where the pipeline will run underneath. We were right on the border of Prince George’s County and Charles County. The pipeline runs through both counties.

We wanted to go to the Cedarville trailer park because the pipeline dewatering could affect their artesian wells and because we know they have not been notified about this plan for the pipeline to the Mattawoman Energy plant that has not yet been built.

Please share the following photos via social media to let people know what is going on in your area (town, county, state, country and, as it is a climate change issue, world). Maryland can be a leader in climate change solutions if this additional fracked-gas power plant is NOT built. ALSO give them a link to our ACTION page which has a list of many ways they/you can help.

4 environmental advocates carry signs at Cedarville State Forest: “CleanAirPrinceGeorges.org Petition” (which you can find here); a photo of power plant emitting methane gas see it here; “No Tax Breaks for Polluters” (as Prince George’s County gave tax breaks to existing Keys Energy plant that’s only a little more than a mile away); and “No Corruption”
4 environmental advocates carry signs: “I Can’t Breathe… No Mattawoman” (meaning no Mattawoman power plant… not the river – the power plant took the river’s name); “No More Power Plants”; “No Power Plant Zone” with pictures of great things we could do instead; and “Clean Air is In Our Hands”
7 environmental advocates along Cedarville Rd. One sign reads: “No Pipeline Thru Cedarville Pk”
Photographer aiming at environmental advocate with sign: “CleanAirPrinceGeorges.org Petition” (which you can find here)
2 environmental advocates in the foreground and two in the background at Cedarville State Forest. Signs being held say “No Pipeline Thru Cedarville Pk” and “No Tax Breaks for Polluters” (as Prince George’s County gave tax breaks to existing Keys Energy plant that’s only a little more than a mile away) and “No Corruption” with sign on the ground saying “Maryland – on the wrong side of climate history! DO NOT BUILD Another Dirty – Leaky – Fracked Gas Power Plant IN BRANDYWINE or MARYLAND” with photo of power plant emitting methane gas see it here and “NOSACRIFICEZONE.COM” underneath.
Environmental advocates at Cedarville State Forest. Sign being held reads: “WE ALL NEED CLEAN AIR”
Ten environmental advocates on Cedarville Rd. at entrance to Cedarville State Forest park with signs in foreground reading: “Enough is Enough/Environmental Justice is Racial Justice” with artist rendition of power plant and “No Jobs on a Dead Planet” (for those who think jobs are more important than saving the environment which is one of the few arguments for the power plant)
Twelve environmental advocates standing with signs along Cedarville Rd. at the entrance to Cedarville State Forest
Two environmental advocates with signs reading: “”No Jobs on a Dead Planet” (for those who think jobs are more important than saving the environment which is one of the few arguments for the power plant) and “No Sacrifice Zone – protect our Children’s HEALTH – NO MATTAWOMAN” (meaning no Mattawoman power plant… not the river – the power plant took the river’s name)
Two environmental advocates in front of Cedarville State Forest – Maryland Department of Natural Resources sign holding signs that read: “CleanAirPrinceGeorges.org Petition” (which you can find here) and “CLEAN AIR We are all in this Together”
Three environmental advocates holding signs: “CLEAN AIR We are all in this Together”, “No Pipeline Thru Cedarville Pk”, and “No Tax Breaks for Polluters” (as Prince George’s County gave tax breaks to existing Keys Energy plant that’s only a little more than a mile away) and sign underneath reads: “Maryland – on the wrong side of climate history! DO NOT BUILD Another Dirty – Leaky – Fracked Gas Power Plant IN BRANDYWINE or MARYLAND” with photo of power plant emitting methane gas see it here and “NYT Infrared photo of fracked gas power plant with Methane leaking out. Methane has an 80% higher greenhouse gas impact over co2.NOSACRIFICEZONE.COM” underneath.
Three environmental advocates at Cedarville Rd. holding signs: “No Pipeline Thru Cedarville Pk”, “No Tax Breaks for Polluters” (as Prince George’s County gave tax breaks to existing Keys Energy plant that’s only a little more than a mile away), “No Corruption”, and “SOLAR NOT GAS”
Two environmental advocates holding signs: “No Power Plant Zone” and “No Power Plant – No Pipeline – Clean Air is in Our Hands – CleanAirPrinceGeorges.org
Two environmental advocates on road. One sign reads: “We Can’t Breathe – No Mattawoman” with artist rendition of person coughing and inhaler (note that “Mattawoman” refers to the proposed power plant… not the river – the power plant took the river’s name)
Three environmental advocates holding signs of which two are readable: “SOLAR NOT GAS” and “No Sacrifice Zone – protect our Children’s HEALTH – NO MATTAWOMAN” with picture of child using an inhaler (note that “Mattawoman” refers to the power plant… not the river – the power plant took the river’s name)
Environmental advocates carry signs to educate the public about coming pipeline to a power plant that is planned to be built just up the street from them that is also an issue for climate change. Image descriptions explain.
“JOIN US CLEANAIRPRINCEGEORGES.ORG

3rd Community Education Action & Information

We met on Nov. 14 to wave signs, pass out fliers, and get petition signatures in front of Brandywine Elementary School. See photos below.

Our next Community Education Action will be at Cedarville Park at 10 AM on Sat., Nov. 21. Contact cleanair@brandywinemd.com for more information.

The county delegation to the state General Assembly has a bill, sponsored by Delegate Ivy of Cheverly, to end new coal power plants. They’ve added on gas-powered plants as well. There’s a public hearing on Fri., Nov. 19 at 7:00 PM.

We’ve been told Chalk Point has stopped burning coal, but they may be switching to oil and they also have a gas-powered plant there, so Chalk Point is still a problem.

Also coal continues to be a problem, because Brandywine houses a coal ash dump that’s being used by other coal-powered plants.

According to data from the EPA, “[Brandywine,] Maryland is #7 in “worst groundwater contamination from coal ash”: “19 miles southeast of Washington, DC, at the Brandywine landfill in Prince George’s County, ash from three NRG coal plants has contaminated groundwater with unsafe levels of at least eight pollutants, including lithium at more than 200 times above safe levels, and molybdenum (which can damage the kidney and liver) at more than 100 times higher than safe levels. The contaminated groundwater at this site is now feeding into and polluting local streams.”(1) Apparently GenOn, the owner, has had multiple lawsuits “for its polluting of groundwater and local streams.”(4) Problems with groundwater and local streams are what we fear from the dewatering for the pipeline, too.

The coal ash has seen to be dumped loose into the coal ash dump that overlooks the playground at North Keys park. People have reported seeing dust clouds over the park, probably due to the ash being blown into the air. It appears that they do not dump the ash in a safe way. It should be contained at the source of where it is produced, Chalk Point, Morgantown*(2)(3), and elsewhere. People off North Keys Road have well water, which, as far as we know, was not able to be tested in Prince George’s County.

Good news is we’re getting support from many organizations from all over the state and we’ve learned of new ones right here in Brandywine. More people are becoming more aware of how important local communities are in the fight against pollution and climate change.

(1) https://www.ecowatch.com/groundwater-contamination-coal-ash-2630617715.html
(2) https://ashtracker.org/facility/64/brandywine-coal-ash-landfill
(3) https://web.archive.org/web/20120321083804/https://www.environmentalintegrity.org/news_reports/documents/OutofControl-MountingDamagesFromCoalAshWasteSites.pdf
(4) https://wamu.org/story/19/03/04/one-of-the-most-polluting-coal-ash-dumps-in-the-u-s-is-in-maryland/

Upcoming Community Education Actions

On Nov. 9, we discussed future community action events. Another Brandywine Rd. event similar to the one we previously did on Oct. 31 as posted on our blog Nov. 2 (entitled “Update – Prepare for Hearing”).

We’re meeting Saturday, Nov. 14 at 10:00 AM at Brandywine Elementary School on Brandywine Rd. Bring signs that have a very large, easily recognizable image or very large words that can be seen from cars driving by at 30-40 mph. The message should be about the website and/or the power plant. We may have signs you can use.

THIS WILL BE A SOCIAL-DISTANCING EVENT AND ALL PARTICIPANTS SHOULD WEAR MASKS.

We want to inform people about the pipeline and where it’s going. Would they like to sign a petition? Sign onto a letter to the Public Service Commission (PSC)? Speak at the next PSC meeting (currently scheduled for Dec. 9)? Join our email list? Help us spread the word to neighbors?

Please educate yourself as much as possible by reading as much of this website as possible. Questions can be asked of other members at the Community Education event.

Examples of signs are in the photo on this blog post and below.

Other similar actions along the pipeline route will be set up soon, also.

PSC Hearing Results & Next Steps

PSC (Public Service Commission) Hearing Brief Notes 2020-11-4

17 people attended who spoke against the amendment (see the YouTube video here & written comments are here – scroll down to between 2020-09 to 2020-11-4)

Mattawoman Energy – Ian Shavetz, attorney, points brought up in his testimony:

  • narrow amendment – state agencies concur; 
  • this is same pipeline approved in permit; 
  • US Army of Engineers approved it; 
  • area of park no dewatering; 
  • owners of property notified; 
  • impacts of dewatering narrow & small; 
  • reduced dewatering from original permit; 
  • 7.3 miles required – only 63% dewatering especially in sensitive environmental areas; 
  • water table will come back same day; 
  • water returned to environment; 
  • erosion issues will be filtered; 
  • equivalent to seasonal fluctuations; 
  • JBA did not object based on superfund site (1/3 mi. away)

Commissioners’ comments (read by Chairman Jason Stanek) included these points: 

  • narrow amendment;
  • not to review other issues that may be related to the site but not to the limited amendment; 
  • Downstream Strategies report – dated today, signed by Dr. Cole – Commissioners hadn’t read it – ME received it yesterday & were willing to review it & go over points; 
  • Commission cannot rule today due to the late filing of report

Commissioner comments, questions, discussion:

  • Commissioner Michael Richard reviewed & thinks it’s significant & wants to delay 90 days – Shavitz responded that report is only 12 pages – agreeable but asked for expeditious return; Richard argued about 90 days & spoke to local concerns
  • Commissioner Anthony O’Donnell – desire to be transparent & appreciates citizens, but legally, requests were not matters they can rule on; wants to review report but in shorter period of time
  • Commissioner Mindy Herman doesn’t understand why citizens were not notified; Steve Talson, Maryland Department of Energy (MDE) council, asked John Grace, Chief of the Source Protection and Appropriations Division of the Water Supply Program/Water Management Administration (WMA), to reply – another law about CPCN proceedings, no MDE requirement to give notice – Talson thought they deferred to MDE, letters sent, 5502E(?) citation, landowner & not interested persons notification[1]; Herman agreed with time needed for review of report only 30 days; Grace agreed 30 days review, Dr. Cole said 6-page report requires review of much larger report about deficiencies & time correction needs 90 days to review;
  • Commissioner Odogwu Obi Linton agreed with need to review report & wanted to make sure PPRP & DNR satisfied requirements; Fred Kelley said they had long review & that pipeline route was part of initial permit, impacts limited & temporary; wetlands provisions reviewed & was covered although just reviewed report & deferred to Commission on how long they take to review it.

Commissioner Chair Stanek delayed decision until they review the report; will be on Dec. 9 agenda.

[1]NOTE: We need to change the law to require notification for amendments and not just property owners, but also people residing on the property and interested persons.

Update – Prepare for Hearing

Prepare for the Nov. 4 hearing TODAY – deadline to submit public documents is NOON TODAY.

You can still sign up to speak with an email to susan.thomas@maryland.gov by NOON TOMORROW. The meeting is online and it is our understanding that the Public Service Commission will send you a link to join – please include your email address and phone number along with you name and address in your message. See more about participating in our previous blog post here.

On Saturday we participated in a community education event. See photo below:

Oct. 31, 2020 in front of Brandywine Elementary School