(ANNAPOLIS,MD)—Alison Prost, Acting Vice President of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF), issued this statement following Maryland's issuance today of a Water Quality Certification to Exelon Generation Company LLC to operate the Conowingo Dam for the next 50 years:
"We are thankful Governor Hogan and the Maryland Department of the Environment want to hold Exelon accountable for a large part of the pollution from the Conowingo Dam. CBF and its partners have argued that the very presence of this dam alters the form and timing of river water and pollution reaching the Chesapeake Bay.
"Strict conditions are necessary for a 50-year operating license. Those set by Maryland are justified for protecting the health of the Chesapeake. The certification ensures a cleaner Bay, but gives Exelon clearly defined options for fulfilling its clean-up responsibilities.
"Currently, Exelon releases too much water at once from the dam, which harms downstream fish habitat. We are satisfied the certification requires Exelon to improve the way it discharges, and also to improve fish passage.
"These strict conditions for the dam's future operations are the result of a decade of study and collaboration by scientists, non-profit organizations, and government agencies. Such unified, bi-partisan, and energetic efforts are critical if we are to address future major sources of pollution to the Bay such as climate change, land development, and other causes."