Judge Rules County Zoning Exemptions Granted for Cove Point LNG Terminal Are Invalid

The Associated Press (AP) and Southern Maryland News (SoMdNews) report that a judge has ruled that zoning exemptions granted by Calvert County Commissioners for the Dominion Cove Point LNG terminal are invalid.  According to the SoMdNews report, Judge James Salmon ruled that “the exemptions violate the uniformity provision in the Land Use article and constitute[] a special law that violates the Maryland Constitution.”  According to the Judge, Commissioners attempted to completely exempt LNG export and import facilities and commercial power generating facilities from county zoning regulations “while still requiring everyone else in the county to abide by those regulations.”  Environmental groups cheered the ruling, expecting it to cause significant delay in construction of the project, while a Dominion spokesman stated that “[w]e do not see any schedule impact” from the ruling.

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