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.

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