It’s Not Over… How You and the County Can Help

On Wed., Aug. 28 the Public Service Commission (PSC) voted to approve the amendment to Mattawoman Energy Center’s (MEC)  2015 Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) permit – to make a change from water cooling to air cooling of the now 1,038 MW operating 24/7 fracked-gas power plant. This will allow MEC to move forward with their plan to build after a 4 year dormancy.  Seven concerned citizens from Brandywine and Prince George’s County were able to attended the PSC’s administrative meeting in Baltimore to represent, witness and reiterate objections and concerns. (For more information on citizen’s testimonies to the PSC click here and put in Select Case: 9330 and click Search)

That evening, we met with County Executive Angela Alsobrook’s Chief of Staff and Community Relations office. They said they heard that people in Brandywine didn’t care about the power plants. WE NEED TO SHOW THE COUNTY WE CARE! It was very nice to talk to county administrators who seemed to care, but what will be done?

The next day we spoke out at County Councilman Sydney Harrison’s Coffee and Conversation in Clinton for District 9. The flyer didn’t say it was for Education only, but they made that statement during the event, apparently to keep us from bringing up power plants even though we spoke about the health of our students by preventing more asthma and respiratory problems due to air pollution and about raising taxes to improve our schools. The power plants do impact our children. Additional information:

  • Councilman Harrison said he was going to the Dept. of Health to find out what could be done about the air quality problem – he said they know about the power plants and are taking the future air quality into consideration also (let’s share with each other about the findings of those meetings).
  • Harrison’s chief of staff, Eric Bowman said council lawyers advise them that some issues and meetings, like power plants, have legal concerns that keep them from discussing them or attending meetings about them. We would like transparency about what these legal concerns are.

WHAT WE CAN DO NOW
Don’t Let the County Tell Us: “We inherited this problem” or “It was the state…” as this sounds like it has nothing to do with our county officials and that they can’t do anything. We can contact the county to tell them what they can do (see below). Contact Coucilman Sydney Harrison here – Contact County Executive Angela Alsobrooks here.

WHAT THE COUNTY CAN DO

  • Not give the power plants tax breaks, credits, incentives, etc. They should pay full taxes and the area should see those funds to remediate the damage their plants cause and to improve our local schools.
  • Monitor noise from the power plant and take action if they are above the limit of 65 db during the day and 55 db at night. It is the county’s perview to enforce noise standards. We think that should be at the sidewalk level since we want this to be a walkable bikable community and the county is helping to make the effort to do that (see Brandywine Revitalization & Preservation Study by Parks & Planning here).
  • Monitor air quality and report to the state if the power plants are not keeping to the legal qualities set by state and federal agencies. They may say that’s the state’s perview, but if they are true to their desire to educate our children, they need to also protect their health and the county can report to the state and federal governments or it can be done through a county-citizen partnership. (Wellness is supposedly a goal of the public schools.)
  • County can be leaders in modeling with programs that support its citizens, such as a policy to have no more power plants and meet state goals for the climate crisis before their goals of 50% renewable energy by 2030 and 100% by 2040; also supporting agritourism as a viable entity for green areas and food security which requires farmland.

Any other suggestions? Contact us at contact@cleanairprincegeorges.org or 301-502-3261. Also see the Action page which was updated.

 

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Keep In Touch! – Public Meeting Soon – This affects you!

Community members are concerned about new activity with Mattawoman Power Plant. Dominion stated they will not be providing their gas (see article here and read quote on our link at Facebook). They have applied to the Public Service Commission (PSC) to amend their Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) which is the major permit needed to start construction and, to our knowledge, no locally concerned citizens were notified.

Here are some concerns that may affect you:

  • Noise pollution: If they are permitted to air-cool instead of water-cool which was their previous plan. Location (zoom out as needed – 1/2 mi. from elementary school).
  • Gas pipeline leak/potential explosion (part of pipeline is existing, not new – does it meet today’s codes?)
  • Truck traffic during construction – Air pollution, more noise, safety
  • Traffic congestion on Brandywine Rd. and other adjoining roads, including Rt. 5 & 301
  • Impact on renewable energy sources, carbon emissions and climate change (State says we’re supposed to go to green energy by 2030 – see article – if you can’t see the article, search on “Maryland bill mandating 50% renewable energy by 2030 to become law, but without Gov. Larry Hogan’s signature”) – our future
  • Air and Water pollution – see information throughout this site

Stay connected from this website or our Facebook page for a public meeting later in June 2019.

Other recent web pages to visit:

Public Service Commission list of 9330 cases

Mattawomen Energy Center (contains links to CPCN)

Maryland Public Service Commission’s Search for Case 9330 (sort by date with 2019 at top)

EPA Resolution for civil rights complaint

We’re fighting the good fight – please help us!

Have you been down Brandywine Road lately? The work has stopped. That doesn’t mean they’re going away as they have permits and plans and have spent millions. We’re still working on stopping the 3rd natural gas plant in Brandywine and we have a coal plant as well – this plant is not needed here. Natural gas is dirty fossil fuel that will pollute and we’re fighting big corporate interests. We’re a small community.

Please support our legal battle with a donation (online here) – every little bit counts or contribute as much as you can afford. SPECIAL OFFER: People donating $50 or more during April 2017 will be invited to a cocktail party at national historic William W. Early house.

Your support can make a big difference. For more information, contact Joanne at 301-502-3261 email jflynn1111@me.com.

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Clean Air Prince George’s finalize their mission statement

January 18, 2016

CAPG group finalized their mission statement today. The group took into account the various goals of its diverse membership and voted on the following:

So Everybody Can Breathe Easy

Mission Statement of Clean Air Prince George’s

A diverse network of local citizens, Clean Air Prince George’s works for the public good in four areas:

  • Reversing the extraordinary proliferation of fossil fuel power plants and other polluting industries that are turning our community into an environmental sacrifice zone.
  • Promoting renewable energy initiatives and other sustainable, long-term, development projects that will further our community’s economic and social recovery.
  • Holding public servants accountable for the decisions they make and the ways they make them.
  • Preserving our rural area and its natural resources including clean air, watersheds, wetlands, forests and farms.

We believe that the welfare of present and future generations and the integrity of the environment call for vigorous action on our part in all these areas. We welcome involvement by anyone wanting to join us in this effort.

PSC Grants More Time for Comments on Amendment to CPCN for Mattawoman Energy

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:

  Ground Surface Air Soil Other
Water Water
1,1,1-TRICHLOROETHANE X        
1,2-TRANS-DICHLOROETHYLENE X        
1,4-DICHLOROBENZENE X        
2-METHYLNAPHTHALENE         X
ACENAPHTHENE X        
ACETONE         X
ANTHRACENE         X
AROCLOR 1260   X      
BENZ(A)ANTHRACENE   X      
CHRYSENE         X
CIS-1,2-DICHLOROETHYLENE X        
FLUORANTHENE         X
FLUORENE         X
METHYL ETHYL KETONE X        
NAPHTHALENE X        
PHENANTHRENE         X
PYRENE         X
TOLUENE         X
TRICHLOROETHYLENE 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.

Planned-Water-Pipeline

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

Executive Secretary

Maryland Public Service Commission

William Donald Schaefer Tower

6 St. Paul Street, 16th Floor

Baltimore, MD 21202

Re: Case No 9330

Protest March Against Pollution Plants in Brandywine, MD

January 1, 2016

Local residents took time on New Year’s Day to protest the newly  approved Keys Energy Center and Mattawoman power plants in Brandywine, MD. The residents placed signs along the Brandywine Road corridor to raise awareness. They marched up and down the main section of the town Brandywine with an accordion, funny hats, tambourines, signs, and dogs.

Residents on a peaceful New Year's day march in Brandywine, MD

Residents on a peaceful New Year’s day march in Brandywine, MD

Brandywine, MD already contains an existing Gas-powered power plant (The Panda Plant). And, another large Gas-powered plant (Charles Power Center) is being constructed the adjacent town of Waldorf, MD. If all the approved plants are constructed, the aggregation of fossil fuel emissions in such a small location will be unprecedented within the United States.

“We are not excited about the idea of two new power plants so we walk!” exclaimed local resident Nick Newlin.

Yard signs are still available for those residents who wish to have a sign on their own property. Please contact us for more information on how to obtain a sign.