Fleming Drive - Turner Station
AAEA became involved with Turner Station (sometimes called Turner's Station) at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) hearing on June 5, 2006. This was part of AAEA's nationwide monitoring and participation in liquefied natural gas (LNG) proposals and public meetings. Our position on the project is included in the excerpt below:
AAEA met with AES, the company proposing to build the LNG facility, to discuss the project and to examine the feasibility of adopting recommendations that would benefit all stakeholders. Although interest was expressed to consider the recommendations, subsequent AAEA communications were not answered. In 2008 AAEA was contacted by Mrs. Maxine Thompson, who informed us that AES had been working with them to satisfy some of the needs of the community, but recently (March, 2008) decided to withdraw from the agreements it made with the community. According to Ms. Thompson, this included $15 million, scholarships for students, and a community center.
AES previously took Maxine Thompson, Phyllis Seward and other members of the community on a tour of its LNG facility in Everett, Massachusetts and a tour of its coal plant (Warrior Run) in Cumberland, Maryland. AES also retained Ivan Lanier, CEO of the Greenwill Consulting Group to assist with community outreach. Mr. Lanier's services were terminated at the same time as the withdrawal from the agreement with Turner Station. This was just a couple of weeks after the end of the January through March Maryland General Assembly legislative session. Members of the community had expressed satisfaction with AES' arrangements to legislators during the legislative session. We are extremely disappointed with the decisions made by AES. Now the company is communicating that it will be a good neighbor after it receives permission to build its LNG facility. Unfortunately we will have to revisit FERC, the Maryland General Assembly, MDE and others to clarify the situation.
Our primary recommendation for the companies surrounding this community that are greatly benefitting from the production and sale of their valuable goods and services step up to make history and partner with each other to offer relocation compensation to the residents of Turner Station.
AAEA and activists from Turner Station, a black community just outside of Baltimore City, have agreed to work together to protect residents from pollution. The community exists in the middle of a perfect storm of pollution sources. The Maryland Department of the Environment, which was located less than a mile away from this community, even moved out of the area several years ago. Turner Station is surrounded by a steel production plant, landfill, electric utility plant and the high power lines run through the community, soil and groundwater chromium contamination, Interstate Highway 695 yards away and nearby Patapsco River dredge spoil. Turner Station has to be the most polluted neighborhood in the United States.
Phyllis Seward and Maxine Thompson
Maxine Thompson and Phyllis Seward are two of the principal local activists working to protect Turner Station. As long time residents of the community, they are knowledgeable about all of the pollution sources threatening their community. With little to no resources, they plead their case to whomever will listen. To date, there has been little to no protection offered or solutions applied. AAEA has agreed to work with Mrs. Thompson and Ms. Seward to protect this community, particularly the most vulnerable: asthmatic children and elderly residents.
AAEA believes that Turner Station is in an industrial zone and humans should not live there. Our hope is that the multibillion dollar international companies will step up to assist with mitigating the environmental conditions faced by residents of Turner Station. We know that such generosity would create goodwill among federal agencies considering environmental injustice issues and state agencies charged with approving air and water permits. Turner Station is in serious need of help. AAEA is promoting two principle solutions to the problems at Turner Station:
Dunbar Brooks, Board Chair, Turner Station Development Corporation, Incorporated, submitted the written statement below to Magalie R. Salas, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for the June 4, 2006 hearing in Dundalk, Maryland public meeting:
Current and Proposed Facilities Surrounding Turner Station
AES has a proposal to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility on the front end of the Severstal site at Sparrows Point. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will be holding a hearing on the LNG project on June 9, 2008 at Patapsco High School Auditorium, 8100 Wise Avenue, Baltimore, MD 410-887-7060 at 7 p.m. The FERC has issued a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and a hard copy is available for review at the North Point Library, 1716 Merritt Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21222. The DEIS is woefully inadequate in addressing the environmental justice issue facing Turner's Station. There are also many questions about the way AES has dealt with the Turner's Station community.
Riverside Power Plant. Constellation Energy owns the 251 megawatt plant located south of Turner Station [Longitude -76.505, Latitude 39.2369]. The plant began operating in 1951. It (Unite 4) is a dry bottom wall fired boiler. The primary fuel is pipeline natural gas. It operated for 528 hours in 2007 (310 hrs in 2006). It produced .1 tons of sulfur dioxide, 76 tons of nitrogen oxides, and 19,763 tons of carbon dioxide in 2007. (EPA) The high power lines that run out of the plant form the northern border of Turner Station. According to the Riverside Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) reportable releases in 2002 included 522,000 gallons of number 2 fuel oil (diesel fuel), 1,200,000 gallons of keresene, and 485,000 MCF (million cubic feet) of natural gas. The TRI reportable releases for 2003 were 752,000 gallons of number 2 fuel oil, 240,000 gallons of keresene, and 125,000 MCF of natural gas.
Honeywell International. Allied Chemical Company (Allied Signal) produced pesticides at its plant west of Turner Station and large areas around the facility are contaminated with chromium and arsenic. Honeywell International merged with Allied in 1999 and is now responsible for cleanup of the site. The clean up could cost hundreds of millions of dollars. Although the manufacturing facility is long gone and the site is now paved over, there is still plenty of tha toxic waste in the ground and groudwater. The waste is also contained at dumping grounds in Dundalk, Fairfield, Lucust Point and near North Point in Baltimore County. Honeywell wants to cap the site and place buildings there while local activists want the site cleaned up. Honeywell is negotiating with the Maryland Department of the Environment to settle the matter, and of course, there is litigation pending in federal court.
Severstal, Russia's largest steelmaker, run by billionaire Alexei Mordashov, purchased and is currently operating the Sparrows Point steel mill southeast of Baltimore for $810 million, fulfilling an antitrust mandate that Arcelor Mittal divest itself of the Mittal Steel plant. The purchase places Severstal among the five largest U.S. steel producers. (See Also Severstal North America) Mittal Steel, owned by Indian billionaire Lakshmi Mittal, merged with Luxembourg-based Arcelor in 2006 to form Arcelor Mittal, the world's biggest steel company. It agreed to relinquish the Baltimore plant to resolve Justice Department antitrust concerns.
Bethlehem Steel Company (BSC) owned Sparrows Point from the early 1900s until the company declared bankruptcy in 2000. In 2003 the plant was purchased by International Steel Group (ISG), which merged with LTV Steel to create the largest U.S. steel producer. Mittal bought ISG for about $4.5 billion in 2004, merging it with his Ispat International and LNM Holdings. Then in 2006, Mittal merged with Arcelor, prompting the divestment.