Judge re­jects Ex­elon suit over Conowingo rules

Baltimore Sun - - MARYLAND -

A Bal­ti­more cir­cuit judge has re­jected a law­suit filed by Conowingo Dam owner Ex­elon Corp. against the state of Mary­land, say­ing the com­pany was pre­ma­ture in su­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal reg­u­la­tors over de­mands that it do more to re­duce pol­lu­tion flow­ing into the Ch­e­sa­peake Bay from the Susque­hanna River. The com­pany can’t go to court to fight per­mit re­quire­ments im­posed by the state un­til it has ex­hausted its op­tions un­der Mary­land’s ad­min­is­tra­tive ap­peals statute, Judge Pamela J. White ruled. An Ex­elon ap­peal to the Mary­land Depart­ment of the En­vi­ron­ment is still pend­ing. So is a com­pan­ion law­suit that the Chicagob­ased com­pany filed in fed­eral court at the same time as the Cir­cuit Court law­suit. Gov. Larry Ho­gan, a Repub­li­can who is in the midst of a re­elec­tion cam­paign against Demo­cratic chal­lenger Ben Jeal­ous, none­the­less cel­e­brated White’s de­ci­sion. Ho­gan said “his­toric progress” at im­prov­ing the Ch­e­sa­peake Bay’s health could be put at risk “if we do not pur­sue a com­pre­hen­sive re­gional ap­proach to re­duc­ing pol­lu­tion in the Susque­hanna River.” Mary­land en­vi­ron­ment Sec­re­tary Ben Grum­bles called the rul­ing “great news for clean wa­ter and a step for­ward in the restora­tion of the Ch­e­sa­peake Bay.” Ex­elon of­fi­cials said they plan to con­tinue to con­test the state per­mit, known as a wa­ter qual­ity cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, be­cause it “sets a prece­dent of as­sign­ing sole re­spon­si­bil­ity for pol­lu­tion to the Conowingo Dam.” to con­sider al­ter­na­tives to raz­ing build­ings in flood-prone El­li­cott City. County Ex­ec­u­tive Al­lan Kit­tle­man this week signed leg­is­la­tion to par­tially fund a $50 mil­lion project to re­move 13 build­ings from the his­toric down­town to help pro­tect the area from dam­age caused by ma­jor floods. The new re­port, con­ducted by Simp­son Gumpertz & Heger for Preser­va­tion Mary­land, said the county has not “fully vet­ted” flood mit­i­ga­tion strate­gies that ad­dress safety and pre­serv­ing the his­toric town. The firm rec­om­mends the county en­list Preser­va­tion Mary­land and the Mary­land His­toric Trust to re­view the plan’s so­cial and fi­nan­cial im­pli­ca­tions and “eval­u­ate the fea­si­bil­ity and cost of the al­ter­nate tun­nel bores.” The re­port also en­cour­ages the county to ini­ti­ate a “pro­gram to struc­turally re­in­force and wet flood­proof his­toric build­ings in the flood­plain” and “ex­plore the vi­a­bil­ity of im­ple­ment­ing struc­tural re­in­forc­ing el­e­ments in tan­dem with wet flood­proof­ing mea­sures to create Open First-Floor con­cepts within the ten build­ings pro­posed for de­mo­li­tion.” The third-party engi­neer­ing re­port did not es­ti­mate costs for the var­i­ous pro­pos­als. Un­der the open first-floor model, the county would ac­quire and main­tain the 10 build­ings on lower Main Street and al­low the first floor to be an open space for wa­ter to run through dur­ing an in­tense storm. “Ac­cess to sec­ond floors would be pro­vided to create res­i­den­tial, liv­ing and/or of­fice op­por­tu­ni­ties,” the third-party re­port said. white supremacy — were found Oct. 5 writ­ten in the grout of a bath­room stall wall in an aca­demic build­ing on cam­pus. Dur­ing an Oct. 8 off-cam­pus party at which peo­ple were draw­ing on one an­other’s shirts, one per­son drew swastikas on the T-shirts of two peo­ple, ac­cord­ing to the univer­sity depart­ment of di­ver­sity’s hate-bias re­port log. The log, which is not avail­able for view­ing with­out univer­sity iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, was cre­ated as one of sev­eral rec­om­men­da­tions made by a di­ver­sity task force in May. The task force based the rec­om­men­da­tions on a cam­pus cli­mate re­port. In ad­di­tion to cre­at­ing the log, univer­sity of­fi­cials agreed to add a con­duct pol­icy that pro­hibits threats or in­tim­i­da­tion and to hire a pro­gram man­ager for “hate-bias re­sponse.” Park­way north of In­ter­state 195 around 5:45 a.m. Po­lice said Hugh An­thony Clarke, 44, crashed his Honda Pi­lot into a ca­ble bar­rier in the me­dian while driv­ing south­bound. He got out of his car and be­gan walk­ing in the left lane of the road­way when he was struck by a pass­ing truck, po­lice said. Po­lice said Wal­ter John Riehl Jr., 56, of Penn­syl­va­nia, had swerved his Penske truck in an at­tempt to avoid hit­ting Clarke, but ul­ti­mately struck him with a side-view mir­ror. Clarke was taken to the Univer­sity of Mary­land Shock Trauma Cen­ter in Bal­ti­more where he was de­clared dead. Po­lice said they don’t be­lieve Riehl to have been in­tox­i­cated or speed­ing at the time of the crash, but are still in­ves­ti­gat­ing.

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