Hearing on Conowingo Dam Pollution Issue by MD Senator

May 5, 2014

Credit Exelon Corp website

CONOWINGO, Md. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin is holding a hearing regarding environmental challenges involving the Conowingo Dam in northeast Maryland.

Construction of the dam in the late 1920s created a detainment area for some of the sediments and nutrients flowing down the Susquehanna River toward the Chesapeake Bay.

But officials say the ability of the reservoir to hold additional sediment is reaching capacity, which could mean more sediment and pollutants flowing into the bay.  Monday's hearing is aimed at improving public understanding of the issue and building better partnerships between the federal, state and local agencies.

Sediment management at the dam has become an issue as its owner, Exelon Power, is asking federal regulators for a 46-year renewal of its operating permit.