Energy company files complaint over LNG rule

The company that wants to build a liquefied natural gas facility on Sparrows Point has filed a complaint against Baltimore County and Maryland Critical Area Commission, contending that authorities improperly approved a county law prohibiting LNG and other such facilities from being built in environmentally sensitive coastal areas.

According to a written statement by AES Corp. officials, the complaint was filed in Baltimore County Circuit Court yesterday.


The commission, charged with overseeing development and land-use policy in coastal and watershed areas, approved a county measure last month that adds LNG terminals to a list of facilities not allowed in its coastal areas.

"AES believes that Baltimore County's action in adopting the zoning amendment and presenting it to the Commission for subsequent approval was an arbitrary act made without consideration for the many environmental, economic, and social benefits that will be realized if the project is built," said Kent Morton, the manager for the proposed Sparrows Point project, according to the written statement.


County officials said yesterday that they had not seen the complaint.

But Donald I. Mohler III, a county spokesman, said, "We're confident that we are on sound legal ground," adding that the proposed LNG terminal is the "wrong plant, at the wrong place, at the wrong time."

AES Corp. also is appealing a federal court ruling that upheld the Baltimore County law banning such facilities in coastal areas. That challenge was filed last week in the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Laura Barnhardt


Carbon monoxide sickens 3

Three teenagers were taken to hospitals yesterday after carbon monoxide leaked into a Lutherville apartment where they live, county fire officials said.

A carbon monoxide detector sounded about 3 a.m. in the apartment on Nightingale Way in the Cardiff Charles complex, alerting the oldest teenager, an 18-year-old, to the danger, said Battalion Chief Michael Robinson.


The 18-year-old assisted in getting his 13-year-old and 15-year-old sisters out of the apartment, Robinson said. He was taken to St. Joseph Medical Center, and the girls were taken to Greater Baltimore Medical Center, all with injuries that were not considered life-threatening, said Robinson.

Six paramedic units and the county's hazardous materials team answered the call to the apartment, where firefighters evacuated 19 people, he said.

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless -- and potentially lethal -- gas produced by fuel-burning appliances. Initial symptoms of poisoning are headache, fatigue, nausea, dizziness and shortness of breath.

Firefighters found a level of carbon monoxide at 110 parts per million in the apartment where the teenagers lived, said Robinson. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends evacuation at 35 parts per million, he said.

A faulty heating unit appears to have been the cause of the carbon monoxide leak, Robinson said.

The manager of the apartment complex said she had no comment about the incident.


Laura Barnhardt


Carroll teen dies in one-car crash

A 16-year-old Carroll County girl was killed Thursday night after losing control of the car she was driving on Greenspring Avenue near Tufton Avenue, Baltimore County police said yesterday.

Caila Finnen of the 3000 block of Regal Oak Court in Manchester was driving north on Greenspring Avenue approaching Tufton Avenue about 8 p.m. when she lost control of the 2001 Dodge Neon, said Cpl. Michael Hill, a police spokesman.

The car spun around, struck a fence and flipped over onto the driver's side, Hill said.


The girl was pronounced dead at the scene.


Hit-and-run driver identified

Baltimore County police yesterday said they had identified the driver of the car that struck and killed a 35-year-old pedestrian this week in Dundalk.

The driver, a 22-year-old Dundalk man, was not in police custody, but the case is under review by the state's attorney's office, said Cpl. Michael Hill, a county police spokesman.

Pedro Colon, 35, of the 6400 block Bushey St. in Baltimore was struck by a Ford Tempo and killed shortly after midnight Wednesday while crossing Dundalk Avenue.