Carroll County Commissioner Rothschild: “Conowingo Dam is the 600-pound gorilla in the room”

Carroll County Times article (2016-01-12) reported that Carroll County Commissioner Richard Rothschild focused his State of the County comments on sediment and water pollution caused by the Conowingo Dam. Rothschild alleged that the dam may be causing pollution attributed to farmers and that the federal government and others are downplaying the potential role of the dam as a water pollution source. In the State of the County address, each commissioner had five minutes to highlight issues they viewed as important to the County. From the article:

Carroll County Commissioner Richard Rothschild
Carroll County Commissioner Richard Rothschild on agricultural runoff into the Chesapeake Bay: “It’s being used as an excuse to force environmental mandates upon us, including the phosphorus management tool, bad septics and the ‘Rain Tax.”

“When it comes to the bay, the Conowingo Dam is the 600-pound gorilla in the room,” [Rothschild] said, noting the county’s involvement with the Clean Chesapeake Coalition, an association of [six Eastern shore counties and Carroll County] joined together to promote cost-effective ways to clean up the bay. …

While the state spends millions cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay, and farmers take a lot of the blame for the pollution, the dam between Harford and Cecil counties may be the real culprit, said Rothschild, Carroll’s representative on the coalition.

Rothschild also called up a slide with two images on it, both satellite shots of the Eastern Shore — one with a large plume of sediment visible in the Maryland portion of the bay and another without the visible tan cloud of sediment. The images, Rothschild claimed, were the same photo, but one was manipulated to make the water appear more clear.

“The government — the federal agency — Photoshopped the brownish pollution plume out of the photo on the right because it detracted from their agenda of blaming our farmers,” he said.

Useful Links

Previous Conduit Street Coverage of Conowingo Dam

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Environmental Impact Statement for Conowingo Dam (2015-03)

Clean Chesapeake Coalition Website