MDE Questions Permit Validity for Proposed South Baltimore Incinerator

A November 25 Baltimore Brew article reported that the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) is requiring Energy Answers International, Inc., to prove that its license for its proposed Fairfield Incinerator in South Baltimore has not expired. MDE has given Energy Answers until December 7 to submit proof that its “Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity” has not expired. However, the letter did not explicitly say the permit had expired. Environmental and community groups have strongly opposed the proposed incinerator. From the article:

“According to our records, over six years have passed since the original approvals were issued for this project without any substantive construction beyond the pile driving. . . which ceased on Oct. 31, 2013,” says the letter, dated yesterday and signed by Maryland Department of the Environment’s Benjamin H. Grumbles.

“I recall your aim was to secure financing by the end of this year so that construction beyond what has taken place can occur,” Grumbles writes. “It is this point, the degree of construction activity, that has become a significant issue at this time and is the reason for this update by MDE.” …

Grumbles’ letter, addressed to company president Patrick F. Mahoney, asks for documentation showing that before November 3 “Energy Answers has (1) begun or caused to begin a continuous program of actual onsite construction of the Fairfield facility or (2) entered into a binding agreement that cannot be canceled without substantial loss to Energy Answers.”

The article also sought responses from Energy Answers and opposition groups such as United Workers:

“Thousands of Marylanders have been calling upon MDE to enforce the law – the facts are clear – and now it’s time for swift action.” said Gregory Sawtell, an organizers with United Workers. …

Energy Answers officials have not responded to several requests for comment from The Brew.