The Washington Post offered a write-up of the continuing debate over the status and priority of the Conowingo Dam in its Sunday edition. The online article covers the broad range of topics related to the Dam, its pending re-licensing as an energy facility, and its role in sediment and nutrient problems in the Chesapeake Bay. These issues haven been politically charged in Maryland, with stakeholders and studies disagreeing on the role and importance of the dam in this large, complex picture.
From the article:
At a news conference in February, Hogan said the dam’s sediment problem has been “ignored for eight years” and vowed to bring attention to it. Hogan has said that a dredging operation costing up to $250 million might be the answer to the bay’s pollution problem, and that the dam’s owner, Exelon Corp., should pay most of that cost.
Exelon calls the governor’s concern misplaced and says dredging isn’t the answer. To back that claim, executives who manage the dam pointed to a November study by the Army Corps of Engineers and the University of Maryland that said another type of pollution — nutrients from phosphorous and nitrogen that run off farms and municipal sewer overflows — is far more harmful to the Chesapeake.