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 cleanair@brandywinemd.com or 301-502-3261. Also see the Action page which was updated.

 

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Study Proves Gas Plumes Exist from Compressor Stations on Pipelines

The following study was found to show emissions from natural gas pipelines according to this article: Compressors on natural gas pipelines measured releasing high concentration plumes of gas

“The study was conducted by Bryce Payne and Bob Ackley, of Gas Safety,Inc., with A. Paige Wicker, Zacariah L. Hildenbrand, Doug D. Carlton Jr. and Kevin A. Schug, of the University of Texas at Arlington1. Measurements were made on public roads in the area of 9 compressors in Pennsylvania and New York. Compressors are needed about every 50 miles to push the gas along the pipelines, using turbines and usually pipeline gas driven motors; all those studied were gas driven.

The study reveals rogue methane a full mile from the compressor stations tested. Only methane was measured, but is a proxy for the mixture that is natural gas. While these plumes are composed predominantly of the greenhouse gas methane, which accounts for 80 to over 90% of natural gas, they also can contain nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, radon and volatile organic compounds, among other materials.”

Natural Gas Infrastructure (NGI) Action Planning Summit

Join neighbors to strategize and workshop shared pathways of actions to address existing and emerging Natural Gas Infrastructure (NGI) in Maryland. From pipelines to compressor stations, our communities are paying for dirty energy with their health and the ever-growing threat of the climate crisis

Action Planning Summit
June 10, 2017
1 pm – 4 pm

Beloved Community Church
17500 Indian Head Hwy
Accokeek, MD 20607

Together we will learn, listen, and seek solutions to stop the onslaught of NGI on our communities. Share the event page with neighbors and then register to attend!

Save

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.

Federal Agencies Investigating Maryland Regulators

On June 15, there was an article in the Washington Post entitled, U.S. to investigate civil rights complaint against proposed Maryland power plant

In part it says:

Residents of rural Brandywine, working with the environmental advocacy group Earthjustice, filed a civil rights complaint last month alleging that air pollution from the proposed Panda Mattawoman power plant would disproportionately affect their unincorporated town, which is 72 percent African American.

Two power plants already exist in the Brandywine area, and two more, including Panda Mattawoman, are proposed within 15 miles.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Transportation Department, which provide funds for the relevant Maryland regulatory agencies and oversee their compliance with civil rights laws, said in a letter to Earthjustice on Tuesday that they have agreed to investigate the claim.

Read more from the above links and join us to help make change to protect the environment by donating to the cause and keeping abreast of new actions we’re taking by joining our mailing list and  joining us on Facebook.