November 2, 2012
CBF: Conowingo is a Red Herring; Local Pollution Comes from Local Sources
(ANNAPOLIS, MD)—Dr. Beth McGee, senior scientist with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF), issued this statement following a press conference at Conowingo Dam today by Senator E.J. Pipkin, County Executive David Craig:
"The issue of the Conowingo's capacity to trap pollution in future years and during storms is being studied, but that issue is being used as a red herring here today. CBF believes we must address the inaccuracies being expressed about pollution from the Dam.
"Local tributary creeks and rivers to the Chesapeake Bay are polluted almost entirely by local sources of pollution. In addition, no matter what happens at the Conowingo we'll still have a major pollution problem in the main stem of the Bay. Nitrogen is one of the main pollutants to the Bay, and the Dam has never trapped that pollutant efficiently. Much of the nitrogen pollution comes from local sewage plants, farms, and other sources.
"Pennsylvania has a plan to cut pollution to the Susquehanna, and is making progress. Local governments here should stay the course, and continue to reduce pollution to local waterways using proven strategies like upgrading sewage plants."