BALTIMORE, MD (May 26, 2010) Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Shari T. Wilson issued the following statement today on the Department’s recommendation that the Public Service Commission issue a permit to Energy Answers International, LLC, for construction of its proposed “Renewable and Alternative Energy project” in Baltimore City:
After a careful review of the proposal, the Department determined that it meets certain state environmental requirements. To protect public health and the environment, the Department has recommended stringent permit limitations to control and mitigate the effects of the facility’s projected mercury emissions, should it be approved by the Public Service Commission. The Department recommended conditions imposing what it believes to be the most stringent mercury emissions rate for any such facility in the Country. The Department also recommended a requirement that the plant perform annual stream bank restoration projects to reduce mercury-containing sediment from entering waterways, Department approval of a transportation plan that will ensure that the mode of transportation of waste to the facility minimizes carbon impacts, and state-of-the-art monitoring requirements to ensure the most accurate emissions data possible.
The Department has also determined, consistent with the advice of the Office of the Attorney General, that the Energy Answers’ proposed facility requires a refuse disposal permit, and MDE recommended that the Public Service Commission require the refuse disposal permit as a contingency for any Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity that may be issued. Should the Public Service Commission agree with this recommendation, and if a refuse disposal permit application is received, MDE will publish notices for a public informational meeting and a public hearing on that permit application. The Department of Natural Resources Power Plant Research Program also recommended that the Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity be conditioned upon Critical Area Commission approval.
Updated information about this proposal will be posted on MDE’s website at mde.maryland.gov.