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Curtis Bay Incinerator

The Dripby Fern Shen7:01 pmJun 14, 20160

Key permit for Fairfield trash incinerator revoked

The Maryland Public Service Commission ruled that Energy Answers international violated the terms of its 2010 permit

Above: Seven people were arrested following a December protest against the incinerator at Maryland Department of the Environment headquarter. (Fern Shen)

In another blow to an Albany, N.Y. company’s plan to put a trash-burning power plant in South Baltimore, Maryland regulators revoked a key permit for the project yesterday.

Energy Answers International violated the terms of its permit by stopping construction on the site for more than 18 months, the Public Service Commission ruled Monday.

The company had argued in filings with the PSC that it should be allowed to keep its 2010 Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN).

But the Commission revoked Energy Answers’ CPCN, finding in a seven-page ruling that the company’s legal argument was flawed.

One of the reasons cited was that “economic, esthetic and air and water pollution concerns” may have changed since 2010. A year ago, the PSC noted, Baltimore City terminated its power-purchase agreement with the company, thereby removing an important source of revenue for the proposed facility.

Also, PSC’s executive secretary David J. Collins wrote, “a growing number of local residents and public interest groups have publicly expressed concerns about the environmental and community impacts of the facility.”

The D.C.-based Environmental Integrity Project, which had threatened to sue state and federal regulators to get them to recognize the expiration of the permit, applauded the PSC’s decision.

“We are pleased that the Public Service Commission has confirmed the expiration of the Clean Air Act permit as required, and that its order revoking the CPCN recognizes the growing public concern regarding this facility,” said staff attorney Leah Kelly.

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