“LUNGS OF D.C.,” LIKE PORTIONS OF THE AMAZON RAINFOREST, COULD BE LOST FOREVER
ANS and Earthjustice oppose findings in Proposed Georgetown Solar Farm Social and Economic Justification Report
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Tuesday, August 27, 2019
On Friday, August 23, the last day comments could be offered, Audubon Naturalist Society and Earthjustice submitted a hard-hitting letter in opposition to findings in the Origis Energy’s Social and Economic Justification Report for the Georgetown University solar project.
The report came at the request of the Maryland Department of the Environment, which asked for it as part of Maryland’s antidegradation policy under the Clean Water Act. ANS worked with lawyers from Earthjustice to co-author a comment letter addressing this report and its glaring shortcomings. Much of the report and our comments revolve around the fact that the planned location of the solar farm is a property with two Tier II streams running through it- Wards Run I and Wards Run II. A Tier II rating is the highest water quality designation in Maryland. It means that these streams are extremely clean. Water bodies have something of a super-power, called assimilative capacity, which indicates how much more damage can be done to a body before the water quality is significantly impacted. Recently, it was found that Wards Run I has almost no assimilative capacity left, which triggered Maryland’s Antidegradation Policy.
Maryland’s Antidegradation Policy says that if a project is going to degrade water quality of a Tier II stream, there must be enough social and economic need for the project. Origis Energy’s report argues that the solar farm is necessary for residents of Southern Maryland, and that it won’t significantly harm the environment. ANS and Earthjustice identified several key errors in Origis’s arguments, and found it contains nothing that justifies cutting down an intact and irreplaceable forest.
“The Nanjemoy Forest represents the ‘lungs of D.C.,’ much as the Amazon Rainforest represents the ‘lungs of the world,’” said Conservation Director Eliza Cava. “To lose it would be tantamount to an act of violence. We’re asking MDE to protect this land that provides for our region in so many ways.”
Read our entire comment letter at this link. http://conservationblog.anshome.org/blog/ans-and-earthjustice-submit-second-comment-on-georgetown-solar-project/
About ANS: Throughout its history, ANS has championed nature for all by playing a pivotal role in conserving our region's iconic natural places from development including the C&O Canal, Dyke Marsh and, most recently, Ten Mile Creek. Past ANS member and board president, Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, is credited with launching the now global environmental movement. ANS's nature experts provide hundreds of opportunities each year for children and adults to enjoy, learn about, and protect the environment.