Stoney Beach Air Monitors

The Anne Arundel County council is working on the budget for the year right now (May 2017). We want to get air monitors for our community into that budget. Filling this form out and submitting will send a letter to our councilmembers: John Grasso, Derek Fink, Chris Trumbauer, and Steven Schuh.

  • Letter you will be sending:

    Dear Mr. Executive and Esteemed Councilmembers,

    I live in the Stoney Beach Condominium community with 458 homes that sits less than 1500 feet in North Anne Arundel County, Maryland, from the Herbert Wagner Generating Station. I request that the county fund the installation of an EPA-certified sulfur dioxide monitor in our community if Governor Hogan refuses to support the legislation on this issue proposed by the Maryland General Assembly and supported in resolution by the Anne Arundel County Council.

    The small relative cost of installing such a monitor -- estimated by the Maryland Department of Environment to be approximately $200,000 and less than 1/1000 of its budget -- is a very small price to pay to understand the specific levels of this toxic gas that citizens of North Anne Arundel County are being exposed to by the Wagner Generating Station on Fort Smallwood Rd. We appreciate the support you've given us on this issue. Now, we may also need the county to fund the monitor.

    Sulfur dioxide is an invisible, odorless toxic gas produced primarily by coal-fired power generation plants. It causes lung irritation within minutes of exposure and places children with asthma and the elderly with respiratory and cardiac disease at significant risk. Low air-quality days can be attributed to surges in the generation of power from antiquated plants with insufficient scrubbing technology, like the aging Wagner plant.

    EPA models have estimated that the Wagner plant is one of the worst emitters of sulfur dioxide on the entire East coast, and last year, the EPA declared the greater Baltimore area to be a sulfur dioxide “non attainment” zone -- meaning that hundreds of thousands of MD citizens are being exposed to excessive levels of this gas. This is especially frightening to North Anne Arundel County citizens who live near this plant since levels of the gas are higher closer to the plant -- potentially at toxic levels during power generation surges. Stoney Beach is at “ground zero” for this issue since all of our homes are within 1500 feet of the smokestacks of the Wagner plant.

    The Maryland Department of Environment has stalled acting on the EPA designation citing insufficient empirical data regarding sulfur dioxide levels and recent upgrades the Wagner plant has made in using lower-sulfur coal. Neither of these justifications are quantifiably sufficient when it comes to the respiratory health of Anne Arundel County citizens. The reality is that the state has been negligent in siting monitors in areas of the state in the vicinity of coal-fired power generation plants to effectively measure the exposure of its citizens to this highly toxic gas. It is no longer acceptable for the state to ignore this issue due to their own lack of monitoring data. We need real, hourly data produced by an EPA-certified sulfur dioxide monitor to specifically measure our exposure.

    It’s imperative that both the county and the state act responsibly and prioritize the funding and installation of a monitor in our community to begin collecting the essential objective data that is needed to properly measure the sulfur dioxide emissions from the Wagner plant. If the state will not fund the monitor, the county must take immediate action to fund the monitor to protect the health its citizens.

    Nothing is more important to our health than the air we breathe.


    A Concerned Stoney Beach Community Resident

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