The state of Maryland is facing a federal civil rights complaint over approval of a gas-fired power plant in Brandywine. Earthjustice said the state is required under Title VI to consider whether there would be an "unjustified and unequal" impact on the basis of race.With a name like "Earthjustice" I immediately check my wallet.
Neal Gormley, senior associate attorney with Earthjustice, said that law was violated.
"The Maryland agencies that decided that this plant should be built are putting a bunch of pollution sources into a community that's 75 percent black, while whiter communities get cleaner air," he said.That's a pretty good sized plant, ten megs shy of a gigawatt. But it would be a shame if all those minorities could get clean cheap power, and instead have to rely on the same dirty coal power that most of us in Maryland are forced to rely on. Even the nuke two miles down the road sends its power up to Baltimore for redistribution.
The power plant would be built by Mattawoman Energy, which bills it as a clean natural-gas plant that would power hundreds of thousands of homes. The complaint was filed with the offices of civil rights at the U.S. Environmental Protections Agency and the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Gormley said residents weren't adequately informed about plans to build the 990-megawatt plant.
"There are multiple power plants, all being planned to be built simultaneously in this community, for a total of five large fossil-fuel-fired power plants in the area of this one town," he added. "So people in the local community were confused, to be honest, as anyone would be, and couldn't really keep track of all these different projects."It would also be a shame if those poor minority people in Brandywine had the access to good construction jobs, and then good jobs at the power plant (many of my neighbors work at the nuke).
The complaint was filed on behalf of Brandywine TB Coalition and Patuxent RiverKeeper. Gormley said they're worried about pollution, traffic, depressed property values and health.
Quite likely, the site was chosen for cheap land.