MARYLAND ENVIRONMENT SECRETARY GRUMBLES STATEMENT ON SHUGART VALLEY AND RIPLEY ROAD SOLAR PROJECTS
BALTIMORE (Aug. 28, 2019) — Maryland Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles issued the following statement on the department’s decision to deny a wetlands and waterways application for the proposed Shugart Valley solar project and its determination that the proposed Ripley Road solar project does not satisfy water quality-related conditions in the Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity issued by the Public Service Commission:
“While Maryland strongly supports the increased use of clean and renewable energy sources, these two proposed projects would harm the nearby high-quality stream in Charles County and threaten our continued restoration progress in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. This is an unacceptable trade-off for the environmental benefits of clean energy. Maryland will continue to be a leader on clean and renewable energy that makes sense for our local communities and environment.”
The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) is denying MD Solar 1, LLC’s nontidal wetlands and waterways application for the Shugart Valley solar project. MDE determined the applicant failed to document and demonstrate that a serious effort was made to avoid, minimize and mitigate or otherwise offset the effects on water quality. Additionally, MDE does not consider the economic or social benefits of the proposed project to justify any decrease in water quality.
MDE also determined that MD Solar 2, LLC has not satisfied the conditions relating to the protection of “Tier II” high quality waters in the Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity issued by the Public Service Commission for the Ripley Road solar project. MDE does not consider the economic or social benefits of the proposed project to justify any decrease in water quality.
As part of the permit review process for the MD Solar 1 application for the Shugart Valley project, MDE provided extensive opportunity for public comment, including public informational hearings in February and May.
Information on the Shugart Valley project wetlands application, including the Summary of the Basis for Decision document, is available at mde.maryland.gov/programs/Water/WetlandsandWaterways/Pages/MD_Solar_1.aspx.
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