|Gas Docks Put Thousands at Risk
Dear Bay Weekly:
Williams Gas Pipeline ["Reopening Calvert Gas Docks: A Plan in Need of Scrutiny": Editorial Vol. IX, No. 15, April 12-18] seems to have nothing in mind right now but company profit. The recent plan proposed by Williams to reopen Cove Point natural gas facilities puts Bay residents at risk in exchange for money.
The only data on the area the Energy Regulatory Commission, which will approve or reject their proposal, is equipped with is an environmental assessment three decades old. Among other things, the population explosion over the past 30 years would make the assessment hopelessly inaccurate. Williams has so far done nothing to gather better information on the area.
Williams' grab for money puts thousands of Bay residents at risk. Tankers carrying pressurized natural gas (which is highly inflammable) will pass dangerously close to Calvert Cliff's Nuclear Power Plant.
Williams might claim that the chances of an accident are almost none and that their operations will be safe. Columbia Natural Gas made the same argument when they operated the plant in the '70s, but in 1979 there was an explosion at the plant due to natural gas leakage that killed a worker and injured another.
The plant's pros to Bay residents are few. It would provide a relatively small number of jobs for local workers. Many of those that could be affected by an accident at the plant live in other counties, like Anne Arundel and St. Mary's, and would not benefit from the $2 million in taxes for Calvert County. No one in the region could benefit from the gas itself; infrastructure for natural gas is not existent in the area.
What can we do to ensure that we are not put at risk for Williams' company profit? What can we do to make sure the Bay is safe?
We can educate ourselves further on the issue and, armed with information, attend public hearings and let our voices be heard. We need to demand that a new environmental assessment be done before even considering Williams' bid. Other than that, all we can do is sit down and pray that common sense, for once, will prevail.
-Eric Smith, Fairhaven
Making a Wonderful Story Bloom
Dear Bay Weekly:
Martha Blume's story "Lessons from Chesapeake Gardens" [Vol. IX, No. 15, April 12-18] was so well written, so skillfully woven and so full of helpful information.
What impressed me most is the message you convey about the importance of community. That theme comes through over and over as you write about the path, the neighborhoods and the projects that involve so many people. As much as we all appreciate the beauty of the gardens, the bigger picture is that they exemplify how we feel about each other, the community we live in and the world we share. I hope all of the people who have made GreenScape the success it is realize that your story is as much about them as it is about those you featured.
If there is one thing I have learned from the GreenScape experience, it is that we get back so much more from it than we put in. And we learn so much more about ourselves in the process.
I know my mom and dad would be proud, as much from what I have gained through this experience as from the gardens themselves. They would probably consider that the more fitting tribute.
Thanks again for making such a wonderful story bloom.
-Jan Hardesty, Annapolis
Editor's note: Hardesty, a GreenScape founder, planned and planted the garden at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts.