Prince George's Port Towns fight siting of concrete batching plant

Activists in Bladensburg and three neighboring towns -- the Port Towns -- are fighting the siting of a concrete batching plant in Bladensburg that they say endangers historic sites, the environment and public health. The town council meets on a special exception request next Monday (April 10) and faces an aroused community.

/PM BlogSpace Report/ Residents and business owners in the Port Towns of Bladensburg, Cottage City, Colmar Manor, and Edmonston are organized and speaking up in opposition to granting of a special exception for the construction of a concrete batching plant located in the heart of Bladensburg that they argue would aggravate storm water runoff, air and noise pollution and traffic congestion and endanger public health and safety in their community.

 Activists urge residents to contact their elected officials this week, as a local decision on the special exception permitting construction is scheduled for the council meeting of this coming Monday, April 10.

 The site of the proposed plant is on property owned by Ernest Maier, Inc., a mid-Atlantic masonry company, and is “just feet from the Peace Cross, Battle of Bladensburg memorial, Anacostia River and historic Bladensburg Waterfront Park,” according to members of Port Towns Environmental Action (PTEA) contesting the special exception.

 The environmental action group points out that in addition to being close to heritage and environmentally protected sites, the site is “in close proximity to the Chesapeake Bay Critical

Area Overlay Zone and is close to the Anacostia River” with potential runoff hazard, and is in an area designated in the town’s long-range plan as “arts, entertainment and recreational” in nature. Concrete batching, they add, is a danger to the “health and safety of the community.”

 At two recent meetings held by the town of Bladensburg, information was presented on the proposed new concrete batching plant, which requires a Special Exception Application (SE-4792) before the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission.

 Paul Howe, a spokesperson for PTEA, said “We are concerned that this proposed plant will exacerbate the current problems of storm water runoff, air and noise pollution and traffic congestion emanating from the area of Peace Cross and Kenilworth Road in which the existing concrete block plant operates causing further health and safety issues for the community, its residents, workers, and tourists.”

Howe add the group sought to see the exception “denied at this time since the proposed use is not in line with our vision for our community and waterways in the county. Our goal is to promote environmentally sustainable new development that is clean and green.”

 Of 20 community members who spoke at one of the meetings, Howe said, “no one spoke in support of building a concrete batching plant and the majority were skeptical that this type of development would be a positive addition to the community. They spoke about the adverse impact to the health and safety of the community – for residents, workers, water and adjacent property owners and businesses.”

 Cheverly resident and past delegate from the 47th District Jolene Ivey attended the meeting and spoke out. “This has long been an area that we envision as building on and honoring the historic significance of the region and welcoming vibrant businesses in a mixed-used development.” She said, “This plan will set us back at least a generation.”

 Updated information and a petition form opposing the special exception is at Port Towns Environmental Action on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Port-Towns-Environmental-Action-1851603078460419/  A petition form is also available at JoinPTEA@gmail.com

 Contact Bladensburg Town Hall for information on the future hearing & meetings at 301-

927-7048.

View and download SE-4792 Ernest Maier Concrete Batching Plant related public documents from the Dropbox folder "ERNEST MAIER CONCRETE BATCHING PLANT" at: https://tinyurl.com/SE-4792ConcretePlant