xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Exelon: Maryland residents should support Conowingo agreement

About 1,200 people attended the 2016 annual open house at the hydroelectric plant at the Conowingo Dam in Harford County. (David Anderson / BSMG)

Your editorial, “Conowingo deal: helpful but disappointing” (Oct. 30) is partly right – the deal is helpful.

Once federal regulators approve the historic agreement between Gov. Larry Hogan and Exelon Generation, it will create enforceable conditions in the Conowingo Dam’s operating license. Exelon has a proven track record of living up to its commitments, and that will continue here.

Advertisement

It is beyond dispute that the nutrient pollution, sediment and debris that reaches the Conowingo Dam come from places upstream along the Susquehanna River. Nevertheless, Exelon Generation is investing $200 million of shareholder dollars to mitigate the impact of Maryland’s upstream neighbors on the health of the lower Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay.

The Sun suggests that the science is not clear on the benefits of dredging the sediment that has collected over the last 90 years behind the Conowingo Dam, but a comprehensive study by federal and state agencies determined that dredging the Conowingo pond would impose an environmental cost 10 times greater than any potential benefit to the bay because harmful nutrients would enter the bay as a result. The agreement takes the better environmental path by focusing on programs that offer the greatest opportunity to lessen nutrient pollution, which is the biggest threat to bay health.

Advertisement
Advertisement

And while the editorial suggests that Exelon has not been working to remove river debris that travels to the dam, in fact, we voluntarily removed and recycled more than 4,000 tons of trash and debris from the Susquehanna River last year, and this agreement obligates Exelon to continue those efforts for the next 50 years.

This agreement is a big win for Maryland, its environment and its economy, and at the same time, it preserves Maryland’s largest source of renewable energy and a major an economic engine of the local economy through jobs and tourism at the dam’s many recreational sites.

Those who care about the health of the bay, the environment and the local economy should fully support this historic agreement.

Kathleen Barrón

Advertisement

The writer is senior vice president of Government and Regulatory Affairs and Public Policy at Exelon.

Add your voice: Respond to this piece or other Sun content by submitting your own letter.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement