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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.

                            RECENT NEWS

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


Greetings All:


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


CCC Letter to Maryland Congressional Delegation, Aug 31, 2017
CCC Ltr to MD Congressional Delegation r[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [294.2 KB]
Letter on HR3043 - FERC Licensing Authority
HR3043.Letter - FERC Licensing Authority[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [264.7 KB]

August 10, 2017


Governor Hogan’s 2nd Conowingo Dam Summit – Reprioritizing the Bay Cleanup Agenda


It was another watershed moment on the Chesapeake Bay restoration continuum when Governor Larry Hogan and his Bay Cabinet hosted the 2nd Conowingo Dam Summit this week on August 8th in Darlington (Harford County), followed by a press conference at Fishermen’s Park (at the foot of Conowingo Dam), where the Governor announced plans for the State’s issuance of a Request for Proposals for a pilot program to dredge and test a small quantity of accumulated sediments from the Conowingo reservoir.  The RFP is expected to be issued by the Maryland Environmental Service (MES) by the end of August 2017 and will help to inform potential innovative and beneficial reuses of the sediment, the degree of contamination in the accumulated sediments and the feasibility of larger scale dredging and sediment management as a means to reduce pollution loading to the Bay.


For photos of the Conowingo Dam Summit, Tour and Press Conference click HERE, and see attached.


Common ground on Conowingo and beyond

By Gov. Larry Hogan (Op-Ed in The Baltimore Sun)


Exelon WQC Application to MDE – Public Comment Period Extended


The deadline for written public comments on Exelon’s water quality certification (WQC) application to MDE for Conowingo Dam relicensing  was extended to August 23, 2017 (an announcement made by MDE Secretary Grumbles during the Conowingo Dam Summit).  The Coalition’s comments are a work in progress, and will be filed early next week.


Next Coalition Meeting – Thursday, August 17 at MACo Conference


We are scheduled to meet on Thursday, August 17, from 10:00 to 11:00 AM, in Room 208 at the Ocean City Convention Center.  Our featured guests will be senior management officials from MDE.  Here is the conference program blurb for our meeting:   


The Clean Chesapeake Coalition (CCC) will be meeting for the latest update on Maryland’s water quality certification review for Conowingo Dam relicensing and the pending recalibration of the Bay TMDL.  Learn how these two major decisions are intertwined and will impact the future of Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts.  The CCC mission is to raise awareness and pursue improvement to the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay in the most prudent and fiscally responsible manner possible – through research, coordination and advocacy.


Articles & Media of Note


MD’s Hogan looking for Conowingo remedies
Bay Journal Blog – published BEFORE the Governor’s 2nd Conowingo Summit


Pilot project planned to dredge Conowingo sediments

Bay Journal Blog – published AFTER the Governor’s 2nd Conowingo Summit


Hogan launches pilot program to dredge Conowingo dam

Washington Post


Governor Says Dredging Near Conowingo Dam Could Help Chesapeake Bay

WJZ TV13 CBS Baltimore


MD Governor Announces Pilot Project To Dredge Behind Conowingo Dam To Help Chesapeake Bay
PA Environment Digest


Hogan plans test dredging of sediment at Conowingo Dam

The Baltimore Sun


What’s Happening Upstream – Above the Dam


Lessons from Past, Tools for Future Focus of Meeting on Phase 3 of Pennsylvania’s Plan

to Clean Up Local Waters in Chesapeake Bay Watershed
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection


New Bay Plan in Works
Lancaster (Pa.) Farming

August 8, 2017:  With Conowingo Dam in the background, DFA Chairman Capt. Rob Newberry with Maryland Governor Larry Hogan at press conference following the Governor’s 2nd Conowingo Dam Summit.



August 9, 2017


Governor Larry Hogan Holds Second Conowingo Dam Summit Maryland.gov


Hogan plans test dredging of sediment at Conowingo Dam The Baltimore Sun


Governor Says Dredging Near Conowingo Dam Could Help Chesapeake Bay  WJZ-TV


​Piles of sediment trapped behind Conowingo DamWBAL-TV

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