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Md. intends to deny Conowingo power dam permit

ANNAPOLIS — The Maryland Department of the Environment says it plans to deny a water-quality permit renewal application for the Conowingo hydroelectric dam on the Susquehanna River.

The agency says Chicago-based Exelon Corp. hasn’t fully supported its contention that the dam’s reduced ability to trap sediment is harming the Chesapeake Bay, about 10 miles downstream.

The agency will hold a hearing Jan. 7 before making a decision.

Exelon said Thursday it is working to address the agency’s concerns.

During the recent election, Republican Gov.-elect Larry Hogan largely blamed the dam for bay pollution. He belittled state and federal efforts to reduce pollution by controlling runoff.

The Army Corps of Engineers concluded last week that dredging the river upstream could cost billions of dollars and have relatively little effect on the bay.