Exelon Supporting Susquehanna Sediment Study

The utility company has entered into an agreement with several state and federal agencies to design and conduct the multi-year study.

Exelon Generation announced Dec. 5 that it will withdraw its application for a water quality certification for the Conowingo Hydroelectric Project, a 572 MW hydroelectric power plant located on the Susquehanna River in northern Maryland, in order to allow time for a study of sediment and nutrients in the river. The announcement said the application will be resubmitted within 90 days, and the withdrawal is being taken in consultation with the Maryland Department of the Environment.

"After review of both Exelon's application for a water quality certification and the draft Lower Susquehanna River Watershed Assessment, MDE asked for an additional study to understand the impacts of sediment and nutrient transport on water quality in the Susquehanna River and Chesapeake Bay," said Vicky Will, vice president, Operations Support, for Exelon Power. "To provide the necessary study time, we have withdrawn our current application and will submit a new one shortly."

Exelon has entered into an agreement with MDE to work with state agencies in Maryland, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Geological Survey, the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Chesapeake Bay Program to design and conduct the multi-year study. The company will contribute $3.5 million to it, according to the announcement.

The application asks MDE to certify that the Conowingo Project meets acceptable Maryland water quality standards; FERC requires this certification before it will issue a new, long-term operating license for the dam, which is Maryland's' largest source of renewable electricity.