Judge rejects Exelon suit over Conowingo rules
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.