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Brandywine environmental project funding funded after MDE enforcement

Brandywine environmental project funding funded after MDE enforcement


MDE settlement with PSEG Keys Energy Center, power plant owner, requires $125,000 in financial penalty and $75,000 for Patuxent Riverkeeper program

BALTIMORE (Feb. 1, 20,22) A Maryland Department of the Environment enforcement action against the owner of a Prince Georges County Power Plant includes a substantial financial penalty and a requirement for funding an environmental education program for students from nearby communities.

PSEG Keys Energy Center LLC is required to settle claims of air pollution violations. It will pay $125,000 civil penalty and $75,000 for an environmental program under the direction of the Patuxent Riverkeeper. The violations were allegedly committed at the PSEG Keys Energy power plant in Brandywine, Prince Georges County. This program is intended to help environmentally overburdened minorities in the area.

Ben Grumbles, Maryland Environment Secretary, stated that the Maryland Department of the Environment is committed clean air and environmental justice. This enforcement action ensures accountability, and provides opportunity for Brandywine as well as other nearby communities that are threatened by pollution.

MDE claimed that the PSEG Keys Energy plant had committed a number of air pollution violations, including exceeding emissions limits for particulate polluting from late September to early December 2019 as well as exceeding the facility’s carbon monoxide limit in July 2020. MDE also claimed that the boiler was not optimized by the plant’s analysis.

The January 19 Settlement agreementThe plant owner must pay the MDE financial penalty within 90 days. The settlement agreement says that the plant has taken corrective steps to resolve the allegations, and made operational and physical changes to reduce the likelihood of their recurrence.

The settlement also requires a $75,000 payment from EarthReports Inc. trading as the Patuxent Riverkeeper for a Supplemental Environment Project that serves people and organizations in the vicinity the PSEG plant, which includes the Brandywine area in Prince Georges County.

The settlement money will be used towards the Patuxent Summer Skills Boot Camp. This camp offers a series of outdoor experiences in warm months for young people in Brandywine. It teaches them outdoor skills and builds confidence. The program is designed to provide youth with the opportunity to experience a summer camp without having to pay a lot or have a lack of cultural traditions. Projects such as trash cleanup, water monitoring, or other hands-on pursuits will be prominently featured. The Brandywine area will receive at least $1,000 from the funds. The grant money will be used to buy equipment and supplies, as well as to pay for incidental expenses for camp educators. It will also be used to purchase a used vehicle to transport students between the learning module sites along the Patuxent River. The long-term goal of the program is to be self-sufficient through fees and funding support from other sources in the future.

The partnership with the Prince Georges County Public Schools William S. Schmidt Outdoor Education Center ensures that the project has the support and synchronicity of the local outdoor school curriculum. This will in turn assure a steady supply for young learners to take part. Audubon Naturalist Societys Taking Nature Black and Naturally Latinos are other partners in the program.

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