ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Gov. Hogan announced Tuesday the state reached a landmark settlement with Exelon to the benefit of the Chesapeake Bay.
For decades, the reservoir behind the Conowingo Dam has captured pollutants and debris flowing downstream in the Susquehanna River. Now, the reservoir is considered to have reached capacity, and all those pollutants are washing into the Chesapeake Bay.
Exelon, which owns and operates the powerplant, has reached a $200 million settlement with the state over cleaning up the Bay.
Alison Prost is Maryland Executive Director of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
“It means an additional $200 million that we didn’t have before the settlement, but much more needs to be done,” Prost said.
What will be done for now includes $52 million to create more natural conditions for aquatic life, $47 million for climate resiliency projects to benefit vegetation, clams and oysters, $41 million to remove trash and debris, $25 million to restore water-filtering mussles, and $19 million in other water quality.
The settlement cuts through what could have been years of legislation between Exelon and the state.
“During that time there would have been no environmental benefit,” Prost said. “We still have a lot of questions as to whether this settlement goes far enough, and we’ll be digging into the details, but we do think it’s better that the results have been reached sooner rather than later.”
Despite continuing challenges, Gov Hogan calls this settlement a positive step in the right direction.