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Visited the Conowingo Dam in Darlington, MD yesterday with other Critical Areas Commission members and staff to view first hand the impact it has on pollution entering the Chesapeake Bay. The facility was built in 1928 and has 50 spillways. In this video only 5 are open to accommodate their needs for electricity generation. The birds feed off fish that flow through the spillway. The fish are not impacted by the flow but come out disoriented and sluggish which makes them easier for the birds to catch. In addition to the gulls, herons, ducks and others there's over 100 nesting bald eagles who call the area home. Very informative trip. Cleared up a lot of confusion given aerial photographs and articles in the newspapers. Exelon, the company that owns the facility does not agree with the State of Maryland on what's needed to remedy issues with the dam and Maryland recently filed suit against the company. Will be interesting to see how this plays out in the future.Posted by Mike Hewitt for Commissioner on Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Pictures from Critical Areas Commission members and staff visit to the Conowingo Dam in Darlington, MD. Facility just celebrated its 90th birthday and still running strong. Has capability to provide electricity to over half a million homes. Drainage basin to the dam is 27,000 square miles, including most of western Pennsylvania, lower New York state and some of West Virginia. Worst event ever was Hurricane Agnes when all 50 spillways were opened completely and water reached three feet from the top. It's the only time water flows exceeded the capacity of the dam and tons of sediment flowed into the Chesapeake Bay. Company disagrees with State officials that the dam has sediment control issues since water is over 100 deep in upstream side.Posted by Mike Hewitt for Commissioner on Tuesday, June 19, 2018