Urge PSC to keep orig­i­nal re­port­ing re­quire­ments

The Calvert Recorder - - Community Forum -

Res­i­dents of Calvert and nearby counties can at­tend a pub­lic meet­ing called by the Mary­land Pub­lic Ser­vice Com­mis­sion on Oct. 2 at 6 p.m. at Patux­ent High School to learn the de­tails of and ex­press their views re­gard­ing two Do­min­ion En­ergy re­quests: 1) Al­low Do­min­ion to use two gen­er­a­tors as al­ter­na­tive sources of power in the event that its main gen­er­a­tors are not work­ing; and 2) delete the re­quire­ment for Do­min­ion to mea­sure volatile or­ganic com­pounds (VOCs) that leak dur­ing liq­ue­fac­tion op­er­a­tions.

Do­min­ion’s jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for re­quest­ing the PSC to re­move the VOC re­port­ing re­quire­ment is be­cause of “the in­fea­si­bil­ity of ap­ply­ing a mea­sure­ment method­ol­ogy to the pip­ing and equip­ment com­po­nents” that will leak VOCs at Cove Point when it be­gins liq­ue­fac­tion op­er­a­tions.

But, in mak­ing this re­quest, Do- min­ion ad­mit­ted that its en­gi­neers sig­nif­i­cantly un­der­es­ti­mated the num­ber of com­po­nents sus­cep­ti­ble to VOC leaks. Ini­tially it said 15,000; the re­vised num­ber is now 162,700. This er­ror in es­ti­mat­ing com­po­nents re­sulted in a cor­re­spond­ing un­der­es­ti­mate of the amount of VOCs likely to be emit­ted (2.53 tons per year ver­sus 20.1 tons per year).

There are two ma­jor prob­lems with the Do­min­ion re­quest. First, VOCs are very dan­ger­ous chem­i­cals that can cause chronic (asthma) and fatal (can­cer) dis­eases. Com­mu­ni­ties clos­est to the sources of these emis­sions (Ch­e­sa­peake Ranch Es­tates, Drum Point, Solomons, Lusby and White Sands) are the ones most likely to be sub­ject to the high­est con­cen­tra­tions of these pol­lu­tants. This makes it ex­tremely im­por­tant that reg­u­la­tory agen­cies mon­i­tor these harm­ful com­pounds to en­sure that oper­a­tors, such as Do­min­ion, com­ply with reg­u­lated lim­its for harm­ful chem­i­cals.

Sec­ond, Do­min­ion’s huge es­ti­mat­ing er­ror in the num­ber of leak-sus­cep­ti­ble com­po­nents raises se­ri­ous ques­tions about the cred­i­bil­ity of Do­min­ion’s claim that it will com­ply with reg­u­lated lim­its on haz­ardous chem­i­cals. Can we trust them?

This pub­lic meet­ing will pro­vide Calvert res­i­dents the op­por­tu­nity to voice their opin­ions about the pro­posed re­vi­sion of PSC reg­u­la­tions and urge the PSC to re­tain the re­port­ing re­quire­ment, but to set it at the 20.1 tons-per-year level un­til im­prove­ments in mea­sure­ment tech­nolo­gies jus­tify a re­vi­sion of those es­ti­mated lev­els.

Lila West and David Hardy, Lusby The writ­ers are the re­spec­tive co-chair and Calvert County con­ser­va­tion chair of the Sierra Club South­ern Mary­land Group.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.