State and county officials, representatives of the Brandon Shores power plant and its neighbors have decided to continue meeting - apparently the only official decision reached in the latest attempt to resolve a dispute over plans for an emissions-control system using potentially hazardous anhydrous ammonia.
After a meeting at the state Department of Environment headquarters in Baltimore on Tuesday afternoon, they gave differing accounts on anything else that may have been accomplished to change the plans of Constellation Power Source Generation, which took over operation of the plant in a corporate restructuring of Baltimore Gas and Electric Co.
"There was no assurance given by BGE officials that they were going to abandon the anhydrous ammonia alternative in the near term," said Del. John R. Leopold, who was one of the Solley community's legislators present. "I was hoping to hear that, but I did not hear that."
But state Sen. Philip C. Jimeno and Del. Joan Cadden, both District 31 Democrats, and community activist Lester A. Ettlinger said Constellation representatives indicated that the company would choose by November one of two alternative systems that do not require trucking in daily shipments of the pressurized gas.
Constellation spokeswoman Rose Maria Kendig said "no agreements were made at the meeting" and would not confirm details of the discussions, which she said all sides had agreed to keep secret.
Community outrage over the proposal to use anhydrous ammonia has grown since June, when residents learned of the company's plan, and how it would have to truck in 7,000 gallons daily for the emissions-control system.
Among the concerns noted by Solley community leaders is the danger of an accident involving one of the trucks entering Brandon Shores from Fort Smallwood Road - a problem that was addressed this week by the State Highway Administration.
Mike Ulrich, a transportation engineer in the agency's district office, said the SHA plans to reformat traffic signals at the intersection near the plant to replace its flashing red light with a left-turn green arrow.
Ulrich said the agency made the decision because the three-way intersection of Fort Smallwood Road with Energy Parkway and Brandon Shores Drive has been vexed by accidents. Residents' concerns about shipments of anhydrous ammonia played a part in that decision as well, he said.
Though the change at the intersection "makes it better," said Cadden, "there are too many other places" where an accident could occur. "We are working on [the company using] no anhydrous ammonia at all."
Leopold, a District 31 Republican, said Constellation representatives agreed to move up the schedule for finding an alternative to the disputed chemical from 2004 to summer 2002.