The Honorable Lawrence Hogan, Jr.
Office of the Governor
100 State Circle
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
The Honorable Ralph Northam
Office of the Governor
Richmond, VA 23219
November 15, 2019
Dear Governor Hogan and Governor Northam:
We, the undersigned environmental organizations, write to express our grave concerns about the proposed expansion of the American Legion Bridge, I-270 and I-495. Our concerns are based on:
- A Flawed Process – The announcement of these projects and proposed contracts do not conform to the process outlined and agreed upon by the Maryland Board of Public Works and lack needed input from local elected officials and their constituents.
- Lack of Environmental Impact Studies – It is unlawful to proceed in securing implementation partnerships and contracts without completion and consideration of Environmental Impact Studies and related mitigation.
- Poor Regional Planning – In the era of climate crisis, making room for more greenhouse gas emitting vehicles on our roadways is irresponsible 20th century planning to address a 21st century problem. We need to implement solutions that move people around our region with net zero climate impacts.
- Water Quality Degradation – Adding impervious surface of the magnitude of these projects will irreparably degrade water quality in our precious local streams including Rock Creek, in the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers and ultimately in the Chesapeake Bay.
- Damage to Quality of Life – Residents will lose hundreds of acres of irreplaceable wildlife habitat, river and streamside recreational spaces, and carbon-sequestering parkland in our region’s most densely developed areas.
As the leaders of the State of Maryland and the Commonwealth of Virginia, we encourage you to refrain from rushing the process until the appropriate procedures are followed, the environmental impacts studied and alternatives to vehicular transit are seriously considered.
We ask you to fulfill your legal obligations and give full consideration to these important environmental and quality of life concerns. We would welcome the chance to be part of finding a solution that is consistent with our shared desire to protect our water and lands.
Lisa Alexander, Executive Director, Audubon Naturalist Society
Hedrick Belin, President, Potomac Conservancy
Jeanne Braha, Executive Director, Rock Creek Conservancy
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.