Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. is moving ahead with its long-awaited plans to expand a power station in Annapolis, apparently ignoring severe restrictions imposed by city lawmakers who want to limit electromagnetic emissions.
The City Council approved the expansion of the Tyler Avenue substation Monday night, but attached a set of stringent conditions requiring the utility to contain emissions created by power lines.
Yesterday, the utility called the restrictions "unreasonable" and vowed to follow only the first set of conditions it bargained with the city.
"Some of these new conditions, quite frankly, are unreasonable," said Art Slusark, a BG&E spokesman. "We have agreed to abide by the original conditions that we negotiated in good faith."
Two years ago, the council rejected the planned $2.5 million expansion because of community concern over reports linking the emissions to an increased risk of cancer. BG&E sued to reverse the decision and won.
Anne Arundel Circuit Judge Bruce C. Williams called the council's decision "arbitrary" and ordered the city last fall to grant the utility a permit to expand the substation.
After the judge's ruling, city officials met with representatives of the utility and negotiated a set of conditions to ease some of residents' concerns. Among them were plans to landscape the substation and to monitor the emissions at both the Tyler Avenue plant and one on Cedar Avenue.
The council approved the plan March 8, but then reversed itself two weeks later after the city attorney ruled that the first vote was improper.
On Monday night, council members decided the original restrictions were too weak and that the city should minimize the impact of the expansion.
The council voted overwhelmingly to require the utility to install underground power lines and to require that the emissions do not exceed current levels.