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Two battlefields from Md. considered 'endangered'

March 19, 2009|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

MARYLAND -- Maryland is represented twice on a new list of Civil War battle sites said to be vulnerable to development.

The Civil War Preservation Trust's 2009 list, released Wednesday, includes Monocacy National Battlefield in Frederick County, Md., and South Mountain Battlefield, where Frederick and Washington counties meet.

Each year, the trust, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit organization, publicizes which historic Civil War sites are not protected.

Dominion Transmission, an energy company, has expressed interest in building a $55 million natural gas compression station around South Mountain, according to the trust's list.

A threat to Monocacy is a proposal to build a "waste-to-energy" facility along the Monocacy River, according to the list.

The $527 million facility would burn trash from Frederick and Carroll counties and would have a 350-foot-high smokestack, according to the list.

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Sen. Alex X. Mooney, R-Frederick/Washington, has filed a bill that would prohibit an incinerator within one mile of a national park. The bill hadn't been heard as of Thursday.

In July 2007, Dominion asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for a "pre-filing" review to explore the feasibility of the gas compression project.

But on Nov. 3, 2008, Dominion asked FERC to halt the pre-review process. "In a few years," the company will file a revised project plan that will include gas transmission and storage facilities in Frederick County and elsewhere, its letter says.

Dominion spokesman Bob Fulton said the company hasn't decided when to return to the project.

Civil War Preservation Trust spokeswoman Mary Koik said Dominion bought 135 acres near Monocacy at the end of December.

Dominion had that land in mind for its project, Fulton said.

Other battlefields on the endangered list are Gettysburg, Pa.; Cedar Creek, Va.; New Market Heights, Va.; Wilderness, Va.; Fort Gaines, Ala.; Port Gibson, Miss.; Spring Hill, Tenn.; and Sabine Pass, Texas.

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