We had the largest group thus 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.
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.
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.
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:
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; 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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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: