Struggle continues on Bladensburg concrete batching plant

Concerned -- and organized -- residents in Prince George's County towns on or near the Anacostia River are questioning the value of a proposed concrete batching plant, citing likely danger to air, water and public health in the revitalizing Port Towns area.

/PM BlogSpace Report/ Residents of the Port Towns and Cheverly fighting a concrete batching plant proposed in Bladensburg are getting a chance to be heard, starting next Wednesday, August 2 before the Prince George’s County Zoning Hearing Examiner.

 The hearing is at 9:30 a.m. on the second floor of the County Administration Building in Upper Marlboro. Several local groups have weighed in about the potential for damage to air, water and public health posed by the plant.

 In a letter this week to the Zoning Examiner, Progressive Cheverly “express[es] our strong opposition to Ernest Maier’s application for a Special Exception (SE-4792) and two variances to build a concrete batching plant in Bladensburg.  The group, describing itself as “a grassroots organization made up of Cheverly residents that for twelve years has worked to address a broad range of social justice and environmental issues at all levels of government,” joins Port Towns Environmental Action in fighting the development.  “…we hope that our county officials will realize that allowing the building of the concrete batching plant further compromises the environmental problems that already exist in Bladensburg.  Specifically, we believe that building the plant will result in poorer air quality, additional water pollution, more noise, and increased truck traffic that will negatively impact the health and wellbeing of not only Bladensburg residents but all the surrounding communities.”

 Members of Port Towns Environmental Action, a coalition of local groups, include Nancy Meyer, Community Forklift CEO, who says “The community is united in requesting a public hearing to review the facts and consequences of building a concrete batching plant in the area. We strongly urge the Planning Board to allow the public to voice their concerns, many of which the MNCPPC Technical Staff Report does not address.” Prince George’s County’s Port Towns are Bladensburg, Cottage City, Colmar Manor, and Edmonston; Cheverly is an adjacent community near but not on the Anacostia River.

 Meyer elaborates, “In addition to the proposed concrete batching plant impacting the health, safety, and welfare of our community this plant is not compatible with the vision for our community that was detailed in the Approved Port Towns Sector Plan and newly designated Port Towns EcoDistrict.”

Jolene Ivey, a Cheverly resident and past Delegate from the 47th District, also 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. This plant will set us back at least a generation.”

In a previous appeal to the Planning Board, Progressive Cheverly said  “This is already an area that has too much traffic.  What does it mean to add 80 additional heavy trucks to this mix?  What is the cumulative impact for the residents with the addition of another industrial plant that spews more concrete dust in the air.  What will this pollution mean for the Bladensburg Waterfront?  How does a concrete batching plant help improve the environment for the residents and businesses in Bladensburg and nearby communities? These are all questions that need to be addressed.” At a Cheverly meeting, Brendon Quinn, owner of Ernest Maier, admitted that debris from the existing block plant has been flowing for years into the Moss Run stream adding to the pollution of the Anacostia River, Progressive Cheverly reported.

 In its letter to the Zoning Examiner, Progressive Cheverly concluded  “If you view this proposed concrete batching plant in terms of its impact on the broader community, it should be clear that this application for a special exception should be denied.”

For information on the Concrete Batching Plan at 4700 Bladensburg Road/4100 Kenilworth Avenue in Bladensburg, MD - Port Towns Environmental Action on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/Port-Towns-Environmental-Action-1851603078460419/

 To learn more about the Special Exception case SE-4792 at:

http://www.mncppcapps.org/planning/Person_of_Record/