At PSC hearing, water runs dry

baltimore-flooding_saut.jpgThe water main break at Lombard and Gay streets in Baltimore City did more than snarl traffic Tuesday morning, making many people, including me, very late to work.

Midway through some juicy testimony at the Public Service Commission, Chairman Doug Nazarian had to shut down a hearing because the water had dried up at the PSC’s headquarters in the William Donald Schaefer Tower on the corner of Baltimore and St. Paul streets.

The hearing was on the Constellation Energy deal that would make Electricite de France half owner of the company’s nuclear business, and it’s already on a tight schedule. The commission had expected the hearing to last through Monday and Tuesday, but expanded the timeline on Monday when it was clear that testimony would take a lot longer than initially thought.

A delay in the hearings could be problematic for Constellation. The company is hoping to close the deal this summer, so it is looking for a speedy completion of the hearings. The PSC has said it will make a ruling around June 8.

Lucky for Constellation, PSC staffers scrambled to find a new venue for the hearings Tuesday afternoon away from downtown where City Hall, the National Aquarium and T. Rowe Price all closed. The hearings resumed in the House of Delegates building in Annapolis.

Following Nazarian’s announcement, there were some borderline-lewd comments from the crowd about using or not using the bathroom in the Schaefer Tower, but we don’t have to get into that here.

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