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Clean Chesapeake Coalition

Please pardon our dust, as we work to renovate the Clean Chesapeake Coalition website!  We will continue to add current information during this time.

February 19, 2018

Conowingo Dam Spill Condition Hotline (877-457-2525)

Per the Conowingo Dam Spill Condition Hotline as of Monday, February 19, 2018 at 4:30 pm, there were 4 spill gates opened at Conowingo Dam with a river flow of 143,000 cfs. 

Also, see the video below from WJZ Television (2/19/18):  After heavy rains, loads of visible Susquehanna River debris headed downstream to Chesapeake Bay…

Meeting Reminder

 

The CCC Executive Committee is scheduled to meet this Thursday, February 22, at 2:00 pm.  The meeting will be held in Chestertown for those who can/prefer to attend in person; with remote participation enabled by teleconference.  Please confirm with Colleen Sweeney (at csweeney@mlg-lawyers.com or 410-810-1381) your availability to participate on February 22. 

 

Dorchester County Responds to Writer’s Attack on Behalf of Entrenched ENGOs

 

County responds to Brown letter

Dorchester Banner (02/14/18)

 

Here’s the instigating Op-Ed piece demonizing Dorchester County and the CCC:

 

Bay cleanup succeeding despite Dorchester government’s opposition

Dorchester Banner (01/31/18)

 

Articles & Media of Note

 

Documentary Looks At Baltimore Harbor Clean Up Challenges

 

A Bay Journal article previews a documentary on the condition and cleanup efforts for Baltimore City’s Harbor. The documentary titled “Healing Baltimore’s Harbor: A Pipe Dream” was put together by a group of students from American University. 

 

Trump proposes slashing EPA Bay funding 90 percent
Bay Journal

 

Trump budget seeks 23 percent cut at EPA, eliminating dozens of programs
The Washington (D.C.) Post

 

Trump budget slashes Chesapeake Bay cleanup funding
The (Salisbury, Md.) Daily Times

 

Chesapeake Bay Foundation On Proposed 90% Cut In Bay Program Funding An Assault On Clean Water
PA Environment Digest Blog

 

February 9, 2018


WQC Application Comments Filed with FERC

 

This week we submitted to FERC for filing in the record related to Conowingo Dam relicensing (FERC Docket No. 405) the three Coalition comment letters filed with MDE concerning Exelon’s application for water quality certification.  A copy of the CCC letter to FERC is below.

Ltr to FERC re CCC Comments on Exelon WQ[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [1.8 MB]

Articles & Media of Note

 

Another two million gallons of sewage released into Jones Falls
Baltimore (Md.) Brew (2/5/18)

 

“Heavy rains washed 2.3 million gallons of diluted sewage into the Jones Falls Sunday, the city’s latest release of human waste from its inadequate sewer system…”   Meanwhile, Baltimore City approved $172,000 to a victim of multiple basement sewage backups.  Gross.

 

Joint Conservation Committee Hearing: Nutrient credit trading needed to accommodate growth in Chesapeake Bay watershed
PA Environment Digest Blog

 

What’s Happening Upsteam – Above the Dam

 

PA Senate approves Bay funding bill - without the funding
Bay Journal

 

How clean are the streams and rivers in Lancaster County? State releases interactive map so you can find out
Lancaster (Pa.) Online (2/4/18)

 

The PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) again listed the lower Susquehanna River as “unassessed due to insufficient information” (and therefore not “impaired”).  The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission has pressed for years for the Susquehanna River to be listed as impaired because of falling smallmouth bass populations.

 

Lancaster County's largest farms may soon get new anti-pollution regulations
Lancaster (Pa.) Online

                            RECENT NEWS

February 2, 2018

 

WQC for Conowingo Dam Relicensing

This week we filed additional comments with MDE regarding Exelon’s water quality certification (WQC) application for Conowingo Dam relicensing (see below).  These supplemental comments #2 were compelled by a recent FERC notice to dam owners/operators nationwide concerning dam safety and risk management in light of lessons learned from the Oroville Dam Spillway Incident in February 2017.  For comparison, Oroville Dam in California is 50 years old (completed in 1968); Conowingo Dam is 90 years old (completed in 1928).

 

Articles & Media of Note

 

Governor Hogan Announces Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Initiatives
PublicNow.com (Governor’s Office)

 

Gov. Hogan proposes financial assistance for some septic system owners
The Baltimore (Md.) Sun

CCC Supplemental Comments 2 to MDE re Ex[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [143.6 KB]

 

January 27, 2018

 

WQC for Conowingo Dam – Supplemental Comments Filed

The latest round of supplemental written comments submitted to MDE regarding the CWA Section 401 water quality certification (WQC) application of Exelon for Conowingo Dam relicensing are available for review at this LINK to MDE’s website.  We are reviewing those comments and keeping a watchful eye on the State’s ongoing review of the WQC application.  Unless modified, MDE’s timeline for a final determination is May 2018. 

 

Conowingo Hydroelectric Project - Public Comments Received by MDE per October 13, 2017 Public Notice

 

General Assembly

 

Last week (1/17/18) the House Environment & Transportation Committee held a briefing entitled “State of the Chesapeake Bay”.  There were only two presenters:  Alison Prost for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and Mark Hoffman, the new Maryland Director for the Chesapeake Bay Commission.  (No, the Clean Chesapeake Coalition was not invited to be part of the briefing panel; but we were there to observe the presentations).   Here is a LINK to the General Assembly’s video recording of the E&T Committee briefing, which starts at 06:30 minutes on the video.

 

Articles & Media of Note

 

Conowingo, growth, climate may threaten Bay cleanup deadline

Bay Journal

 

“The Chesapeake cleanup effort is facing major headwinds that threaten the region’s longstanding goal to implement by 2025 all of the actions needed to restore the Bay’s health.  Draft figures presented to state and federal officials in December show that the combined impact of growth, climate change and the filling of the Conowingo Dam reservoir offset much of the nitrogen reduction efforts undertaken since 2010, when the most recent Bay pollution control plan was put into place.

So, finally some acknowledgement that the conditions in the Lower Susquehanna River region and adverse environmental impacts attributable to Conowingo Dam are indeed a factor.  Credit Governor Hogan’s leadership and the efforts of Secretary Grumbles in taking the bull by the horns and developing a serious plan that ensures better protection for the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay and for our downstream investments to improve water quality.  As the CCC has been advocating for more than five years, the Conowingo factor is a glaring omission in the oft touted “blueprint” to save the Bay.  For years we’ve been legislating, regulating and spending billions of dollars in accordance with a 2014 Bay Agreement among the watershed states that ignores the Conowingo factor and a 2010 Bay TMDL from EPA premised on a really bad assumption (see the blind spot in Appendix T).   It took the baked in 2017 “midpoint assessment” in the TMDL to get here; which speaks volumes of the sincerity among ENGOs, the Chesapeake Bay Program and “partner” agencies when it comes to “adaptive management” and their consideration of local official input.  And so much for the reports and accompanying spin by the NGOs and the agencies that fund them downplaying the Conowingo factor by relying on modelling based on models developed by Exelon consultants and poor data (just how contaminated is the sediment accumulated above Conowingo Dam?).  It’s time for a fresh agenda for the betterment of the Bay.  The State’s review and decision on Exelon’s WQC application for Conowingo Dam relicensing is a good place to start setting that agenda.
 

Hogan budget fully funds land conservation, Bay restoration programs
The (Easton, Md.) Star Democrat

 

What’s Happening Upstream – Above the Dam

 

DEP Reports 19,900 Miles Of Impaired Streams, Rivers To EPA, Lower Susquehanna Listed As Impaired For Recreation Only
PA Environment Digest

 

January 16, 2018

 

On (1/15/18) we filed supplemental comments with MDE regarding Exelon’s pending water quality certification (WQC) application for Conowingo Dam relicensing.  The Coalition’s initial comments on the WQC application were filed in August 2017.  MDE’s public hearing on the WQC application was held on December 5, 2017, during which the Coalition provided testimony.  Unless modified, MDE’s timeline for a final determination is May 2018.  We will continue to monitor this most important agency decision on the Bay restoration continuum.

CCC Supplemental Comments to MDE re Pending Water Quality Certification
CCC Supplemental Comments to MDE re Exel[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [134.6 KB]

 

January 15, 2018

 

2018 General Assembly Session Opens

 

We will monitor the introduction of bills for proposed legislation of import to the CCC mission in accord with our FY2018 scope of work.

 

From the Issue Papers: 2018 Legislative Session prepared by the Department of Legislative Services below is an excerpt related to “The Status of Chesapeake Bay Restoration”.

Issue Papers 2018 Legislative Session
Issue-Papers-2018-Legislative-Session re[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [134.4 KB]

MDE Proposed Regulations for Nutrient Trading Program

 

This week the Coalition filed comments regarding the regulations promulgated by MDE to establish a Nutrient Trading Program in Maryland.  As proposed, only certain BMPs that prevent pollution from going into the water are eligible for credit; which precludes in water pollution mitigation activities/projects such as oyster propagation.  Also as proposed, there are no provisions for interstate trading – which limits the options on the table for State in regionally addressing the Conowingo Dam factor.  The Coalition comments below were focused accordingly.

CCC Comment Letter rd Nutrient Trading Regulations
CCC Comment Ltr re Nutrient Trading Regu[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [288.4 KB]

Articles & Media of Note

 

Exelon must upgrade Conowingo dam (OpEd by The Nature Conservancy)
The Baltimore (Md.) Sun

 

Chesapeake 'Bay Barometer' reports improving health
The (Easton, Md.) Star Democrat

 

Speaking of the latest Bay Barometer, below is a clever take on Bay restoration report cards (with full attribution to political cartoonist Rick Kollinger in the 1/11/18 edition of The Star Democrat):

 

January 5, 2018

 

Latest Bay Barometer Released by CBP

EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) has released its latest Bay Barometer (2016-2017): Health and Restoration in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed The Bay Barometer is tied to the goals and target outcomes in the 2014 Bay Watershed Agreement.

 CBP’s latest Bay Barometer can viewed/downloaded HERE.

 

Articles & Media of Note

 

EXELON REFUTES REPORT BY CBF and TNC ABOUT DAM REVENUES:  Exelon Generation (Kenneth Square, PA) issued a statement this week claiming that the report released in December 2017 by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and The Nature Conservancy (see An Economic Analysis of the Conowingo Hydroelectric Generating Stations, as reported in the 12/5/17 CCC update) is “fundamentally flawed due to a gross over-estimation of the future revenues of the Conowingo Dam.”  According to Exelon’s analysis of the CBF/TNC report, “Conowingo’s revenue are not even high enough to cover costs plus an adequate return, let alone sufficient to fund additional contributions for sediment.”  Here’s a link to more from the NorthBridge Group Report (Exelon’s consultant). 

 

Exelon: Analysis Shows Conowingo Revenues Insufficient to Fund Additional Sediment Mitigation 

Chestertown Spy

 

Conowingo:  Don’t draw red line in mud

Baltimore Sun Editorial

Now even The Baltimore Sun editorial board has come to recognize the Conowingo factor in the context of Bay restoration, albeit half-heartedly.

 

Conowingo can be cleaned (Editorial)

American Farm Publications

 

Maryland selects companies to dredge sediment behind Conowingo
Hydro Review
 

 Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts showing positive trends

Chesapeake Bay Program

 

 

January 2, 2018

 

 

Conowingo Dam Pilot Dredging Project – Contract Award per MES RFP Process

 

A pair of California-based companies – Northgate-Dutra Joint Venture – have been preliminarly selected by the State of Maryland to undertake the Conowingo Reservior pilot dredging project.  The “Conwingo Capacity Recovery & Innovative Reuse and Beneficial Use Pilot Project” was announced by Governor Hogan during his 2nd Conowingo Dam Summit in August 2017.  According to an article in the The Baltimore Sun, just two groups responded to the MES RFP.

 

Click HERE for more about Northgate Environmental Management, Inc. (Northgate) and HERE for more about the Dutra Group (Dutra).

 

Md. Awards contract for Conowingo Dam dredging pilot

The Daily Record (copy attached)

 

MES Announces Notice of Intent to Award Dredging Contact to Northgate-Dutra Joint Venture for Conowingo Dam Pilot Project

DredgingToday.com

 

With eye on bay health, state picks firms to scoop sediment
Associated Press

 

Articles & Media of Note

 

Maryland sues EPA to force upwind states to cut pollution

Cecil Whig

 

Following the rationale for Maryland suing EPA to compel federal agency action against UPWIND states to reduce air pollution (as Attorney General Brian Frosh puts it: “…pollution generated outside our borders, over which we have no control”), where is the case to compel EPA to force UPSTREAM states like Pennsylvania and New York to reduce pollution that undeniabley flows downstream into the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay…?  Given the way the wind blows (vs. water always flowing downhill) and with the myriad studies and reports about Bay water quality, the latter would seem to be an easier case.  

 

UMCES, DNR to study Conowingo storm event data
The Star-Democrat (Easton, Md.)

 

Researchers win national challenge to study storm event impact on Bay from Conowingo Infill
Maryland Department of Natural Resources

 

What’s Happening Upstream – Above the Dam

 

Lancaster city fined $135K, will end decades of polluting Conestoga, Chesapeake Bay
Lancaster Online (Lancaster, Pa.)

 

…we’ll see.  Recall that the pollution levels in the Conestoga River in PA are three times (3x) the reported pollution levels in the Choptank River.

 

New PA budget snubs Bay restoration, drinking water protection

Bay Journal

           

Per the article (and consider the source): “They did nothing, though, to bolster a budget that offers no new money for Chesapeake Bay restoration, drinking water protection and other environmental programs. In fact, they opened the door to siphoning money from special funds dedicated to conservation and pollution cleanup.”  There is an interesting reader’s comment after this article chastising the Bay Journal for its slant on the PA budget and observing “The Bay is no longer the primary issue – the 155 public drinking water sources in Lancaster County that are nitrogen impaired and do not meet federal drinking water standards are a bigger issue for Pennsylvania. The Bay is the canary – Lancaster County is the coal mine.”

 

…meanwhile, the Susquehanna River is the single largest source of pollution loading to the Chesapeake Bay.

 

 

December 15, 2017
 

New CBF Study Finds Exelon Able to Make Significant Contributions to Mitigate Environmental Impacts of Conowingo Dam While Remaining Profitable

As discussed during the most recent Coalition meeting, here is a link to the recently released study commissioned by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) indicating that Exelon Corporation generates sufficient annual net revenue from Conowingo Dam operations to afford mitigation conditions on the water quality certification for the dam’s relicensing. 

 

Articles of Note

                                                                                                

Report:  Dam profitable enough to invest in mitigation

Cecil Whig

 

Environmental Groups say Conowingo Dam owner can afford to help restore Bay

Bay Journal

 

Meet Gov. Hogan’s Ambassador to the Environmental World

Maryland Matters

 

Enviro Early Endorsements for General Assembly (by the MD League of Conservation Voters and the MD Sierra Club)

 

EPA awards $150,000 to University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science to upgrade information technology for Chesapeake Bay restoration
University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (Cambridge, Md.)

 

Pennsylvania’s New Bay Plan to Focus on Counties
Lancaster (Pa.) Farming

 

November 30, 2017
 

CCC Meeting Next Week – December 6 at MACo Conference

 

The Clean Chesapeake Coalition will be meeting next Wednesday, December 6, from 4:30-5:30 pm during the upcoming MACo Winter Conference at the Hyatt Resort in Cambridge.  We will be joined by MDE Secretary Ben Grumbles and Lee Currey, Director of MDE’s Science Services Administration, for an update and to answer questions about the ongoing Bay TMDL midpoint reassessment; water quality certification for Conowingo Dam relicensing; nutrient trading and the development of Maryland’s Phase III WIP.

 

BPW To Decide Permit for Dredging Natural Oyster Shell

 

The Clean Chesapeake Coalition has submitted written comments in support of the application of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to the Board of Public Works for a tidal wetlands license to dredge natural indigenous oyster shell from Man O’War Shoal in the upper Chesapeake Bay.  Natural shell is the absolute best and least expensive substrate for the recruitment and growth of oysters.  The importance of shell to broad scale oyster restoration was evidenced by an emergency bill enacted by the General Assembly in 2009 that mandated DNR to apply to MDE and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for a permit to dredge shell from Man O’War Shoal, where there is abundance of natural shell.   While DNR has fiddled and ENGOs have advocated for the dumping of “alternative substrate” (rubble, imported shell, stone) in sanctuaries, the seafood industry, fishing communities and local economies have suffered due to the lack of indigenous shell.  By its comments, the CCC hopes that the BPW will return common sense and proven practices to the management of the oyster fishery and Bay wide restoration efforts.  More oysters in the water means more filtering…

 

Environmental Group Focuses on Sewage Plant Pollution

 

The Environmental Integrity project (EIP) has released a report on pollution at sewage and wastewater treatment plants in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.The report cites federal and state records showing that Baltimore City’s Patapsco plant (the second largest sewage plant in Maryland) discharged 2.3 million pounds of nitrogen pollution in January through August of 2017, more than twice the amount allowed for the year; and released 3.7 million pounds of nitrogen pollution last year (2016) – four times its permit limit.  The report says it's one of 21 wastewater plants in the watershed that violated permit limits last year. Maryland’s largest WWTP (Baltimore City’s Back River plant) discharged 3.6 million pounds of nitrogen last year into a Bay tributary – 29% more than its 2016 permit limit. For the entire EIP report dated November 29, 2017, click HERE.

 

For context, a conventional septic system delivers about 23.2 pounds of nitrogen to the groundwater (per MDE website).  That means the nitrogen pollution from the Patapsco plant in 2016 (3.7 million pounds) was the equivalent of 159,483 septic systems.  Making matters worse is the fact that WWTPs discharge directly into tributaries that flow to the Bay while the vast majority of septic systems discharge in groundwater.

 

WQC for Conowingo Dam Relicensing – Public Hearing December 5

 

The public hearing on the application of Exelon to MDE for water quality certification related to Conowingo Dam relicensing is scheduled for next Tuesday, December 5, at 6:00 pm, at Harford Community College.  The CCC will attend to provide testimony to reiterate and supplement the written comments filed in August 2017.

 

Articles of Note

 

Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay defenders hold breath on EPA cuts, wait on Senate

Capital News Service

 

Chesapeake Bay states push for more conservation funding
American Agriculturist

 

Bill Would Triple Funding for Farmers Helping to Clean Chesapeake Bay
WBOC 16 (Salisbury, Md.)

 

Pa. must explore better ways to meet federal clean water mandates
PennLive (Mechanicsburg, Pa.) OpEd

November 25, 2017
 

CCC Submits Comments to BPW in Support of Man O’War Shoal Shell Permit

The Clean Chesapeake Coalition submitted written comments (dated November 20, 2017) in support of the application of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to the Board of Public Works for a tidal wetlands license to dredge natural indigenous oyster shell from Man O’War Shoal in the upper Chesapeake Bay. See these below.

 

Cover Letter to BPW re CCC Comments to BPW in Support of Man O’War Shoal Shell Permit
Cover Ltr to BPW re CCC Comments ManOWar[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [43.4 KB]
CCC Comments to BPW re Support of Man O’War Shoal Shell Permit
CCC Comments to BPW re ManOWar Shoal Dre[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [187.5 KB]

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MES RFP for Conowingo Pilot Project – Response Deadline Extended
to December 8. Details here.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

November 9, 2017

 

Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3043 (Hydropower Policy Modernization Act of 2017) by a vote of 257 to 166.  As noted in the email exchange below, Congressman Harris voted against the bill along with the other Maryland Representatives in the House.

 

Link to House Roll Call Vote re H.R. 3043:

http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2017/roll620.xml

 

The CCC submitted comments in August to the Maryland Congressional Delegation in opposition to H.R. 3043. Some Coalition counties submitted similar comments independently.  Attached is a copy of email correspondence to Congressman Harris’ office when asked this week for clarification about the Coalition’s concerns and specific issues with the bill.  Cecil County was also asked to elaborate on their concerns with the bill; which it did per the email below

CCC email to Congressman Harris Office r[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [424.2 KB]

November 6, 2017

 

Articles of Note

 

Study suggests oysters offer hot spot for reducing nutrient pollution
Williamsburg-Yorktown (Va.) Daily

 

October 25, 2017

 

 

Federal Hydropower Legislation (H.R. 3043)

 

See correspondence from Senator Ben Cardin to Cecil County regarding H.R. 3043 (Hydropower Policy Modernization Act of 2017 now pending in the House of Representatives).

 

MES RFP for Conowingo Pilot Project – Addendum #4 Issued

 

MES has issued Addendum No. 4 to the “Conowingo Capacity Recovery & Innovative Reuse & Beneficial Use Pilot Project” RFP.  The addendum includes answers to more questions from potential offerors and information.  Click HERE for the RFP and Addenda.  Tthe deadline for proposals is still November 7, 2017.

 

Articles & Media of Note

 

MD senators call on EPA to reverse Bay Journal decision
Bay Journal

 

Query: if EPA’s decision to reduce some federal grant funding to the Bay Journal sets a “dangerous nationwide precedent” (according to Maryland’s U.S. Senators), then what is downplaying or ignoring the downstream impacts of Conowingo Dam on the Maryland portion of the Bay…?

 

What’s Happening Upstream…Above the Dam

 

Pennsylvania projects get $5.8 million in grants for work to protect Chesapeake Bay
Lancaster (Pa.) Online

 

DEP to Cover Cost of at Least 800 Agricultural Plans for Clean Water in Pennsylvania’s Part of Chesapeake Bay Watershed
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

 

Conowingo Capacity Recovery & Innovative Reuse Pilot Project RFP
1-18-3-21-8 Addendum No. 4.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [1.1 MB]
Letter from Senator Cardin to Cecil County re HR3043
Ltr from Senator Cardin to Cecil County [...]
Adobe Acrobat document [595.0 KB]

October 23, 2017

Town of Port Deposit - Conowingo Dam Pilot Dredging Proposal Potential Impact
concerns.impacts.conowingodam.TOWN OF PO[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [196.6 KB]
Letter from Artesan Resources to Deputy Cheif of Staff Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio
09 19 2017 Letter to Jeannie Haddaway-Ri[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [76.1 KB]

October 19, 2017

 

Town of Perryville Writes About Conowingo Dam Impacts

The Town of Perryville, situated on the Susquehanna River in Cecil County downstream of Conowingo Dam, recently addressed their concerns about adverse community impacts from Conowingo Dam.  See letter to Governor Hogan, which was also filed with FERC.

 

MDE Issues Draft Regulations for Nutrient Trading

The proposed regulations are designed to provide greater flexibility and reduce costs in achieving Maryland’s goals to meet federal pollution limits for the Bay. The voluntary program would establish a marketplace for private sector participation in meeting Bay cleanup goals.  Of importance to the CCC in any formal nutrient credit/exchange program is (1) incentive for Conowingo reservoir dredging and sediment management as a BMP to keep accumulated nutrients from ever reaching the Maryland portion of the Bay, and (2) in water oyster restoration as a BMP to cost-effectively filter nutrients from the Bay.  We intend to file comments on the proposed regulations accordingly.  MDE’s draft regulations are attached.    

 

Maryland proposes regulations for faster, better Chesapeake Bay restoration

Maryland Department of the Environment

 

State proposes rules for buying and selling pollution credits

The Baltimore (Md.) Sun

Recent reports about acidity levels in the Bay appear to be the water quality threat of the day for certain ENGOs to crank up their fundraising and grant-writing machines, and to lay blame for the dismal performance of the costly oyster restoration projects in sanctuaries.

 

Acidification Of Chesapeake Bay Could Threaten Oyster Recovery Efforts

CBS 13 (Baltimore, Md.) WJZ – TV

 

Chesapeake acidification may compound issues already facing bay, researchers find

The Baltimore (Md.) Sun

 

A whistleblower says he reported odors near the secret sewage pipe for years

Baltimore Brew

 

Local contributions to Bay progress highlighted at Water Quality Forum

Metropolitan Washington (D.C.) Council of Governments (Blog)

Maryland Water Quality Trading Proposed Regulations by MDE
MWQTP Proposed Regulations by MDE (10111[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [265.5 KB]
Town of Perryville Letter to Governor Hogan
Town of Perryville Letter to Gov Hogan ([...]
Adobe Acrobat document [83.4 KB]

                               CONOWINGO UPDATES

September 19, 2017: Letter from Congressman Ruppersberger to CCC Chair Ron Fithian re:Conowingo relicensure
Ltr from Congressman Ruppersberger re HR[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [48.2 KB]
Conowingo Dam Update: Talking Points for the Clean Chesapeake Coalition Meeting
Conowingo Update at MACO (LCurrey) 20170[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [1'023.2 KB]

September 16, 2017

 

 

Decision on Recalibration of Bay TMDL Coming Soon

 

During last week’s Chesapeake Bay Commission meeting there was considerable discussion related to the Conowingo factor (accumulated sediments / loss of trapping capacity) and how responsibility for the additional pollution with be divided among the Bay jurisdictions as part of the 2017 midpoint reassessment.  A decision by the Principals’ Staff Committee (PSC) within the Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) is expected by the end of October.  The CBP PSC is currently chaired by MDE Secretary Ben Grumbles.  The PSC acts as the policy advisors to the CBP Executive Council (which is now chaired by Governor Hogan).

 

Articles & Media of Note

 

House moves to keep EPA from enforcing Bay pollution diet
Bay Journal

 

Amendment to EPA funding bill would strip agency of power to enforce Chesapeake cleanup plan
The Baltimore (Md.) Sun

 

Maryland, U.S. reach agreement with Baltimore City to curtail sewer overflows, improve water quality
Maryland Department of the Environment

 

Agreement sets timelines for completion of estimated $2.5 billion in improvements by 2021, requires improved public notification, sets cleanup reimbursement process for sewage backups.

 

Chesapeake Bay cleanup requires EPA involvement
The Baltimore (Md.) Sun - Editorial

September 8, 2017


Articles & Media of Note

 
Maryland Environmental Service Releases Conowingo Dam Pilot Project Request for Proposal

The (Harford County, Md.) Dagger

 

What’s Happening Upstream – Above the Dam

 

Did You Know? Mining in the Susquehanna
Harrisburg (Pa.) Magazine


 Interesting history about “The Hard Coal Navy” that sailed the Susquehanna in search of hard (Anthracite) coal to mine from the river.  According to a 1995 USGS report (Water-Resources Investigations Report 95-4122), the sediment deposits behind the three dams in the lower Susquehanna River (Safe Harbor, Holtwood and Conowingo) include an estimated 19.7 million tons of coal.  With better science, what is that estimate today, and can it mined? 

 

Report highlights farm manure pollution in four PA counties
Bay Journal

September 1, 2017

 

H.R. 3043 – Hydropower Policy Modernization Act of 2017 (here)

 

Consistent with prior testimony, the CCC submitted comments this week to the Maryland Congressional Delegation regarding the latest legislative effort by the hydropower industry (Exelon) to undermine the authority of state governments under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act to review and, as appropriate, impose licensing conditions on hydropower dams through the water quality certification process.   A copy of the Coalition’s comment letter is attached, along with a copy the State of Maryland’s comment letter re H.R. 3043, issued by MDE and DNR.   

 

MES Issues RFP for Conowingo Pilot Dredging Project

 

As anticipated, MES has issued RFP 1-18-3-21-8 titled Conowingo Capacity Recovery and Innovative Reuse and Beneficial Use Pilot Project - to perform a pilot dredging and innovative reuse and beneficial use project on approximately 25,000 cubic yards of sediment in the Maryland portion of the Susquehanna River upstream of the Conowingo Dam.

 

Here is an excerpt from the RFP bid documents (which are extensive) summarizing the project:

 

“MES is seeking a firm that can accommodate all components of the proposed pilot project including: 1) preparation of staging areas and roadways; 2) hydraulically dredging approximately 25,000 cubic yards of material; 3) pumping a slurry of sediment and water from the dredging location to a landside staging area; 4) dewatering, handling, and stockpiling the material at the staging location; 5) processing the material, if needed, at an interim staging location; 6) beneficially using and/or innovatively reusing all the dredged material in the State of Maryland in accordance with the most recent version of the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) Innovative Reuse and Beneficial Use of Dredged Material Guidance Document (http://mde.maryland.gov/programs/Marylander/Pages/dredging.aspx); and 7) restoration of disturbed areas. The purpose of the Conowingo capacity recovery and innovative reuse and beneficial use pilot project is to evaluate the feasibility of a scalable project to dredge accumulated sediments and beneficially reuse or innovatively use them within the new Maryland guidance framework and minimize potential sediment releases over the dam.”

 

Responses to the RFP are due October 5, 2017.

 

 

Articles & Media of Note

 

Maryland Wants to Muck Out Exelon Dam to Save Chesapeake Bay

Blommberg BNA

 

EPA yanks funding for Bay Journal
The (Newport News, Va.) Daily Press

 

Acid zone in Chesapeake Bay identified
University of Delaware (Newark, Del.)

 

What’s Happening Upstream – Above the Dam

 

Group points finger at Lancaster County for 'disproportionate' manure pollution of Chesapeake Bay
Lancaster (Pa.) Online

 

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