FERC Expected to Grant 1-Year Operating License For The Conowingo Dam

An August 25 Cecil Whig article reported that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is expected to grant Exelon Generation a 1-year license to continue operating the Conowingo Dam as stakeholders and regulators continue to work through the Dam’s complicated environmental impacts on the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

“We expect FERC will give us an annual license for one year so that we can continue to address outstanding issues,” Exelon spokesman Bob Judge said.

Judge said on Monday that the delay is not unusual.

“It happens all the time. It happened 40 years ago when the dam was last re-licensed,” he said.

The article also noted that representatives from the Clean Chesapeake Coalition are protesting recent FERC recommendations and Exelon’s proposed sediment management plan.

Clean Chesapeake Coalition’s attorney, Charles “Chip” MacLeod, a Chestertown attorney with Funk and Bolton, said that Exelon’s sediment management plan and FERC’s recommendations don’t do anything to combat what he believes is one of the biggest issues facing the Bay — the sediment building behind the Conowingo in its reservoir.

“You have a real problem with the Upper Bay right now and the amount of sedimentation and (the dam reservoir) just gets more full every day,” MacLeod said earlier this month. “The relicensing is a chance to do something.”