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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
He also seeks to halt dredging of Bear Creek, Patapsco River

By Laura Barnhardt
sun reporter

An international trade and investment lawyer who has agreed to represent eastern Baltimore County residents opposed to a proposed liquefied natural gas facility on Sparrows Point yesterday asked the company that wants to build the $400 million facility to withdraw its plan.
Washington attorney Bart S. Fisher also requested yesterday that Sparrows Point shipyard owners, BWI Sparrows Point LLC, which has a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit to begin dredging nearby, not begin the process of moving sediment until federal officials make a decision about the LNG proposal.

"It's like the Hippocratic oath: Do no harm," Fisher said.

Fisher said he is working pro bono for the Greater Dundalk Alliance's LNG Opposition Team because "the entire project is ill-conceived. I wanted to do what I could to help."

Kent Morton, the Sparrows Point LNG project manager for global power supplier AES Corp. which last month filed a preliminary federal application to build the LNG terminal, didn't respond directly to the withdrawal request yesterday or to news that the community now has a lawyer.

In a written statement, Morton said, "The benefits of the Sparrows Point LNG facility are just beginning to surface -- good, high-paying construction and permanent jobs, training opportunities for local residents, millions of dollars yearly in tax revenues, clean energy, the prospect of tempering both high natural gas and soaring electricity costs ... and once the full story is told, we believe that the AES Sparrows Point LNG facility will be viewed as a welcomed community-orientated business that's good for everyone."

The shipments of the super-chilled liquefied gas would arrive by tanker two to three times a week. It would be transformed into natural gas at the terminal and pumped from the plant through an 87-mile pipeline, which would connect with BGE gas lines and extend through Harford County and into southern Pennsylvania, where the gas would be distributed to locations along the East Coast.

The project calls for dredging Bear Creek and the Patapsco River to accommodate the tankers that would import the gas.

Officials with Barletta Willis Investments, the company that holds the dredging permit, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Residents and elected officials at the county, state and federal levels, have raised objections to the AES proposal. Residents say they are worried about pollution in the riverbed that would be disturbed by dredging, which they say would have disastrous effects on fish and crabs.

Community leaders have also expressed fears that the facility or tankers could become targets for terrorist attacks or could compromise the safety of nearby residents in the event of an accident.

The closest neighborhood, the historically black enclave of Turners Station, is less than two miles from the proposed LNG facility.

"This in an environmental misjustice," said Sharon Beazley, one of the Dundalk activists leading the opposition to the LNG plan. "And we believe it's a civil rights issue."
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If the terminal is allowed to happen, a lot of dredging will have to take place. The sediment at the mouth as well as inside of the Patapsco River has years of Sparrows Point, paint and chemical company deposits under a cleaner layer of silt. Dredging will disturb the sediment and release the chemicals.

Since this has the potential to do 1000 times more harm then fossil oyster shell dredging, why no action alert from the conservation groups?
 

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The Balto Harbor bottom is disturbed yearly as well as channels leading to the Harbor. There is a Corp & MDE area wide Dredging license to maintain channel depth to 55 ft. This is usually performed in the winter or before the spring closure period. Dunno about the impacts, however, anytime you disturb a bottom, there is at least short term turbidity issues. Theoretically it would be nice to remove all of the pollutants we've added over the centuries into the waterways, but you'd probably get treament of storm drains before that ever happened.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Frank

If the bottom is disturbed annually why is there so much debris still on the bottom of the harbor? IE. Old cars, pieces of equipment, etc. The reports from the divers, while searching for the bodies from the overturned water taxi, substantiate this.

What are dredged yearly are the channels only. The area around the “Point” has not been dredged in a lot of years. Probably before Bethlehem, Glidden and some of the chemical factories closed.

Didn’t the report of the toxic chemicals in the spoils to be dredged from the harbor and put on the dumping grounds, stop that idea?

What has changed?
 

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Mike
The dredgers arent equiped to pick up big stuff like cars. They scoop anywhere from 7 to like 30 cu yds of dredgate and the water spills thru the bucket with the dredgate, as it raises to the barges. They(Great Lakes have other big stuff like cutter suction and hoppers but use the buckets for open water channel work, unless theyve changed their MO.

I think they were dredging the ship drydock channels at one time, dont know what that staus is.

MES controls the Hart Miller area, as well as the new spoils area where the old Kennecott Copper place was. If you remember, the community complained about a proposed NASCAR track, now they got a dredge spoils site. MES probably does metals sampling on the dredgate and that data is available thru FOIA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Where do the dissolved solids and the water go when placed on the barge? Is there a place where they contain the dissolved solids and the water? Do they filter the water with a 1-micron filter or less to eliminate all solids, therefore all harmful chemicals?

Depending on the tide and wind the harmful chemicals could and are dispersed over the upper bay causing harm to bay creatures and in some cases are harming potable water supplies on the Eastern Shore.

Sure they stopped open bay dumping but what is the difference if the water is returned with dissolved solids mixed in from a contained site?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
[Q]Capt Frank originally wrote:
BTW are you thinking about starting a Bay car rescue company? [grin]
[/Q]

Yeah. Old Toyotas.
Have you checked the price of scap lately?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Mr. Keen made the comment on his lunch hour. I'm sure members of your organization who work for the federal or state government only log on to these and other boards on their lunch hour as well.

I see no tax dollars being wasted from his comment. His time not the state of Maryland.

Action Alert on the Sparrows Point Dredging?
 

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[Q]reds originally wrote:
Mr. Keen made the comment on his lunch hour. I'm sure members of your organization who work for the federal or state government only log on to these and other boards on their lunch hour as well.

I see no tax dollars being wasted from his comment. His time not the state of Maryland.

Action Alert on the Sparrows Point Dredging?

[/Q]
Mike, you obviously misunderstand me. I would never accuse Mr. Keen of lollygagging around DNR offices posting on message boards during work hours...

I was simply suggesting that it is nice to see where DNR's loyalties, and the use of our tax dollars as recreational fisherman, lies...

I like it when things are out in the open...They're easier to hit that way...
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
[Q]Chumbucket originally wrote:

I like it when things are out in the open...They're easier to hit that way...
[/Q]

Being easier to hit, works both ways.

I don't know what gets people more upset, use of tax dollars or trying to take income away. I suspect the latter.
 

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[Q]reds originally wrote:
[Q]Chumbucket originally wrote:

I like it when things are out in the open...They're easier to hit that way...
[/Q]

Being easier to hit, works both ways.

I don't know what gets people more upset, use of tax dollars or trying to take income away. I suspect the latter.

[/Q]

Yeah, well, suspect away...I'm unconcerned...
 
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Perhaps an action alert is in order. It may also be that the fact that the DNR will not be expending a significant portion of their budget performing the Sparrows Point dredging (as they are for fossil oyster dredging) that failed to raise the ire of the conservation groups. It could also be that the short-term disturbance (and removal of a portion of) of extant chemicals is outweighed by the creation of long-term, off-limits habitat. I'd be disappointed to hear that the conservation groups aren't monitoring and analyzing this situation.
 

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[Q]ragnad originally wrote:
Perhaps an action alert is in order. It may also be that the fact that the DNR will not be expending a significant portion of their budget performing the Sparrows Point dredging (as they are for fossil oyster dredging) that failed to raise the ire of the conservation groups. It could also be that the short-term disturbance (and removal of a portion of) of extant chemicals is outweighed by the creation of long-term, off-limits habitat. I'd be disappointed to hear that the conservation groups aren't monitoring and analyzing this situation.
[/Q]

Call and ask...

That's how it works...It's not a self-licking ice cream cone like some tax funded organizations, it's a membership driven volunteer organization...

So call.
 
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