Water Resources Program 2019-2021

Key Project:

Support Conowingo FERC Relicensing / MD Water Quality Certification


Priority Water Resources Need:

Restore Impaired Waterways and the Chesapeake Bay


Project Location:

Cecil and Harford Counties, Maryland


Project Lead:

Project Description:

Conowingo Dam Susquehanna River Exelon’s Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) license for Conowingo Hydroelectric Generating Station was issued in 1980 and expired in September 2014. FERC authorized Exelon to continue operations until a new license is acted on. The Commission has been actively engaged in the FERC relicensing process since its inception in 2009. In August 2012, Exelon submitted a final license application to FERC. FERC issued its Final Environmental Impact Statement in March 2015. Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) issued its Clean Water Act Section 401 Certification for Conowingo in April 2018. Priority resource issues include sediment and nutrient reductions, fish passage improvements, and instream flow enhancements.

Exelon has filed multiple legal challenges regarding MDE’s certification. The Commission will continue to support MDE and other partner agencies through the remainder of the Conowingo FERC relicensing and water quality certification process.


Challenges:
  • Legal challenges by Exelon regarding Maryland Water Quality Certification.
  • Implementing fish passage improvement measures.
  • Developing and implementing nutrient and sediment reduction practices.
  • Implementing an enhanced instream flow regime.

Key Milestones:
  • •  Resolve Legal Challenges
    (November 2020)
  • •  Finalize Water Quality Certification
    (January 2021)
  • •  Issue New FERC License
    (June 2021)