From the Maryland Environmental Service:
The Maryland Environmental Service (MES), on behalf of the State of Maryland, is announcing that with last week’s signature of the Conowingo Dam Sediment Characterization Study Right of Entry, the first portion of the Conowingo Dredging and Innovative and Beneficial Reuse Pilot Project is moving forward.
Work is expected to begin on the sediment characterization portion of the pilot project in December 2020. MES contractor Northgate Dutra Joint Venture will be collecting sediment samples in the Maryland portion of the Susquehanna River for chemical and physical analysis. Once collected, this data will be used to categorize the sediment according to the Maryland Department of the Environment’s (MDE) Innovative and Beneficial Reuse guidance to help determine environmentally safe reuse options. Modeling tools are also being considered to simulate different dredging scenarios and their influence on Chesapeake Bay water quality.
The State continues to work with Exelon Generation Company, LLC regarding right of entry to perform the pilot dredging project. It is expected that this part of the project would commence fall 2021.
Scientific reports confirm that the Conowingo Dam has reached full capacity and can no longer prevent pollution from entering the bay, which severely threatens the ability to meet Chesapeake Bay cleanup goals. Governor Larry Hogan’s Administration’s holistic strategy includes conditions relating to the proposed relicensing of the dam, the pilot project on beneficial reuse of dredged material, and an unprecedented, multi-state Watershed Implementation Plan, specifically to mitigate the effects of upstream discharges and the lost trapping capacity of the Conowingo Dam on Chesapeake Bay restoration.
This represents another important, milestone step forward in the commitment by Governor Larry Hogan’s Administration toward progress at the Conowingo Dam.