Wednesday, March 27, 2024

The Wednesday Wetness

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) has taken legal action to stop a 1,000-acre pumped-storage hydroelectric facility proposed for Cuffs Run, near the Susquehanna River in York County.

CBF filed a motion to intervene in the administrative proceedings with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) as the commission considers granting a preliminary permit to York Energy Storage LLC, for plans to build a 1.8-mile-long dam and flood 580 acres in Chanceford Township, to create a hydroelectric facility. CBF will also file a protest and comments on the project.

“This is a phenomenal natural area, and this facility is the wrong project, in the wrong place, at the wrong time,” said Paul Smail, Vice President for Litigation and General Counsel at CBF. “We are going to make every effort to make sure this project does not get a preliminary permit.”

CBF previously joined other groups in signing a letter to FERC, urging it to deny the February 2023 preliminary permit application.

The $2.5 billion project at Cuffs Run is doing irrevocable harm to Cuffs Run and the Susquehanna River and includes projected displacement of 40 families. Water would be pumped from the Susquehanna to fill a reservoir and flood roughly 580 acres and homes. Flooding and clear cutting of habitats will result in increased risk of erosion and destroy vital wildlife habitat along Cuffs Run and the river. The proposal is in direct contradiction to Pennsylvania’s commitments under the 2014 Chesapeake Bay Agreement.

Gone would be carbon sequestering forests, prime farmland, and conservation lands. Cuffs Run, home to naturally reproducing brook trout, would be devastated. Vital habitats for plants and animals classified as of special concern would be obliterated. Obliterated too would be the Mason Dixon Trail, recognized by the National Park Service as a heritage trail.
On the other hand, if you're serious about using wind and solar power as a dominant energy source, you must have some kind of large scale energy storage facilities. Currently, pumped storage projects like Cuffs Run are about the only economically viable way of storing and using electricity produced by wind and solar power when the wind isn't blowing and the sun isn't shining.  If you're not open to the possibility of pumped storage, you're not serious about so called sustainable energy.

The Wombat has Rule 5 Sunday: Paige For Purdue! up and garnering clicks at The Other McCain.

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