9/21/18, 8:30 p.m. — did you hear or smell it?
After reports of huge equipment going onsite at the proposed site for Dominion’s new compressor station on New Marshall Hall / Barry’s Hill Rd. this evening, and recent digging near the pipes there, we went over to investigate what is going on.
We spoke to workers onsite who said they were preparing to do a blowdown — that the equipment was to capture gas evacuated from one pipeline and put it into the parallel/looped pipeline. When we got there, the site smelled so strongly of gas that it made us nauseous and dizzy. As this email was being typed, the blowdown began — a roaring sound as heard from several area homes.
Asked if this was a routine blowdown, the workers told us that Dominion was cutting into the pipe to add something to it. (The workers were contractors.) We’ll send more when we know it. In the meantime, please let us know what you heard or smelled.
The event was likely related to a temporary shutdown of operations at Cove Point.
Thank you to everyone for staying vigilant and keeping eyes on the site.
Defend the Decision — May 22, 2018
This community is amazing! About forty people showed up at Tuesday night’s Board of Appeals hearing on about ten minutes notice, and it made a clear impression. We need you back on the 22nd!
The Board of Appeals decided to dedicate their next meeting to a work session specifically to consider whether or not to consider Dominion’s Motion for Reconsideration. We know how confusing that is! Under Board rules, Dominion has the right to ask for a reconsideration of the Board’s decision. However, the Board doesn’t automatically grant their wish. They need a vote of three to even hear Dominion’s case. If they decide to hear Dominion’s case, some form of the hearing process will open back up. If not, the door closes on administrative remedies, and the next step is for Dominion to sue them.
The Board also voted to suspend its decision (denial of the permit) for 30 days. Although we wish that they hadn’t suspended it at all, putting a cap on the suspension is a good thing.
In the meantime, AMP Creeks will brief the case by May 16. That way, even if our lawyer is not allowed to speak on the 22nd, the Board will have our arguments in writing.
Dominion has requested a rehearing before the Charles County Board of Appeals. They are the body that denied Dominion’s zoning special exception permit.
Although we often called to check on the status of the Board’s decision, we were never told in a phone call, nor did we receive written notice, that the Board’s decision was published on on April 13, 2018. We only found out because of Dominion’s filing.
We also found in that Motion for Reconsideration that on March 26, Dominion filed a federal lawsuit against Charles County, the Charles County Commissioners, and the Charles County Board of Appeals “specifically to confirm the scope of preemption in this matter”. It is extremely frustrating to us that various agencies and their consulting lawyers seem dead set on preempting themselves. Preemption is not automatic. (Thus Dominion’s harassing court case.)
Speaking of things we recently learned, the MDE is watching us. It’s probably easier than monitoring Dominion directly. Hello, Karen, Bobbie, Shannon, Bill, Marcie, and Angelo!
As you can imagine, those of us on the AMP Creeks legal team are not getting a lot of sleep these days, but we are getting a lot done.
For now, please put this event on your calendar, share, and invite your friends and family. We need to keep showing up so that the Board and Dominion know we’re still here.
Tuesday, May 22 – Defend the Decision 2
Charles County Government Building
200 Baltimore St., La Plata, MD