The C.P. Crane power plant in Baltimore County is set to reopen after Maryland regulators on Wednesday denied an appeal filed by environmental and community groups who raised concerns about climate change.
Patrick DeArmey, a lawyer with the Environmental Action Center who is representing the groups, said they are reviewing the commission’s order and considering options for potential further action. That could include a lawsuit in state circuit court. The petitioners included advocacy group Blue Water Baltimore and the Essex-Middle River Civic Council.
The plant’s owners, an affiliate of Middle River Power, a private equity-backed company based in Chicago, proposed building new power units fueled by natural gas and, when that’s not available, low-sulfur diesel fuel. Unlike the coal-fired units, which provided constant baseload power, the new plant would operate only when electricity is in high demand.
The environmental and community groups had raised concerns not about the plant’s environmental impact, but about how it could be affected by sea level rise and other consequences of climate change.
In their order, commissioners said state law does not “specifically or generally require considerations regarding climate change" when reviewing power plant projects.