Issues Facing Conowingo Dam
About the River and Conowingo Dam
Conowingo Dam is a hydroelectric dam that has been trapping sediment from the Susquehanna River, blocking fish passage, and affecting the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay since it was built in 1928.
Conowingo Dam and the Chesapeake Bay
Nearly 200 million tons of sediment pollution have accumulated behind the dam. During major floods caused by large storms, powerful floodwaters can scoop out or “scour” the stored sediment behind the dam and send that downstream to the Chesapeake Bay.
The Federal Licensing Process
The dam’s owner is seeking a new 50-year license to operate the dam. In order to receive this license, the Clean Water Act requires the State of Maryland to certify that it will meet state water quality standards.