Glendening says burying cable under bay is `unacceptable'

August 22, 2002|By Amanda J. Crawford | Amanda J. Crawford,SUN STAFF

A day after a California company withdrew plans to bury more than 300 miles of fiber-optic cable under the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, Gov. Parris N. Glendening effectively quashed any approval of the plan during the remainder of his term.

In a pointed letter to state and federal regulators yesterday, Glendening said the plan would set an "unacceptable precedent" and told officials of the Maryland Department of the Environment and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that ClearStream Communications Inc. of Sacramento should consider other options.

State officials say such alternatives might include running cable along state highways, if the company decides to resubmit a plan seeking permits to build a telecommunications network here.

"Given the fragile nature of the Chesapeake Bay's current ecosystem, I believe any disturbance to the bay bottom, particularly when alternatives are possible, intuitively runs counter to the state's on-going efforts," Glendening wrote.

Glendening also criticized the agencies for not being more communicative about the project, which state and local officials in Anne Arundel County said they knew nothing about.

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