Hearing on dredging near Sparrows Point

A Baltimore County judge is to hear arguments tomorrow on whether a dredging project near Sparrows Point should be stopped.


A Circuit Court judge had granted a temporary injunction Monday ordering the Sparrows Point shipyard owners to stop the work. But the dredging was allowed to resume late Tuesday because the opponents, Dundalk-area residents who say the work is stirring up toxic muck that could harm the community and the Chesapeake Bay, could not post a $750,000 bond required by the judge.

The bond was to cover potential losses to the shipyard owners if their work was stopped and the request for a permanent injunction was found to be without merit.


"The conditions that were placed on the community association by the judge were relatively impossible," said Alan H. Silverberg, the lawyer representing the Greater Dundalk Alliance, adding that the group had only 24 hours to post the bond.

Tomorrow's hearing is on the request for a permanent injunction.

The community group is opposed to the dredging, alleging the work is releasing toxic pollutants into the Patapsco River and, ultimately, into the Chesapeake Bay.

The residents also believe that if the shipyard owners, identified as SPS Limited Partnership in court papers, are allowed to finish removing 600,000 cubic yards of sediment in the area, another company that wants to build a liquefied natural gas terminal at the shipyard will have an easier time receiving federal approval.

"That's what we believe is the endgame," said Silverberg.

The LNG project, proposed by AES Corp, a Virginia-based global power-supply company, would require even more dredging.

Barletta Willis Inc.-Sparrows Point received permits from the Army Corps of Engineers and the Maryland Port Administration last year to dredge in the water off Sparrows Point to accommodate larger vessels at a repair facility and to dispose of the sediment at Hart Miller Island. The permit expires in January.

The work began Dec. 8, according to the community group.


Residents say in their request to stop the dredging that the ship repair facility has already received cruise ships and large tankers, and that more dredging would only harm the community.

Opponents of the LNG project also have said that the dredging needed to accommodate the LNG tankers is one of the most objectionable aspects of the proposed terminal.

Lawyers for SPS did not return calls yesterday.

A spokesman for AES Corp, the company that wants to build the LNG facility, said that the dredging being done this month will not affect whether federal regulators will approve the company's project.

Laura Barnhardt



Townhouse is destroyed by fire

Investigators were searching for the cause of a two-alarm fire that destroyed a Randallstown-area townhouse yesterday morning, Baltimore County fire officials said.

About 10:40 a.m. a fire started in the 3700 block of Twin Lakes Court and destroyed an end-of-group townhouse, county fire officials said. No one was injured in the fire, which was extinguished in about 30 minutes, officials said.

Nick Shields


Victim in crash is identified


Baltimore County police yesterday identified a man who died after his truck crashed into a bridge pillar.

Christopher Gabriel Waynee, 18, of Millersville died Tuesday after the 1998 Chevrolet Silverado he was driving struck a pillar on White Marsh Boulevard near Belair Road, county police said.

It was unclear what caused the accident, county police said.

Nick Shields

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