LSIA Supports the Maryland General Assembly Senate Bill 200

LSIA Supports the Maryland General Assembly Senate Bill 200

Speaker: Suzzie Schuyler, President Linthicum-Shipley Improvement Association (LSIA)

Hearing: Budget and Taxation and Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs West Miller Senate Building 11 Bladen Street - Room 3 Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Date: Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Time: 1:00 p.m.


The Linthicum-Shipley Improvement Association (LSIA) joins with Senators Pinsky and Peters to support this session’s Senate Bill.


Good afternoon. My name is Suzzie Schuyler, I’m the President of the Linthicum-Shipley Improvement Association (LSIA). I’ve lived in Linthicum more than 26 years. I’m authorized to speak for the LSIA.

LSIA represents over 2,700 households and businesses, and has over 500 active household members. LSIA mission is to continually work to improve our community and the quality of life found in our historic part of Anne Arundel County with roots dating back over 350 years.

Thank you for this hearing and for the opportunity to speak in support of Senate Bill 200.

The SCMagLev does not serve Marylanders.

If built, the SCMagLev will:

• Destroy of swaths of homes, businesses, historic sights, and greenspaces through Prince Georges county with the erection of the elevated sections of the SCMagLev.

• Potentially disrupt Anne Arundel aquifers.

• Potentially release toxins, carcinogens, and Radon gas into our communities.

• Expose our school structures, personal, and students to constant low-level vibration, and low-level oscillating magnetic fields as the train runs under them.

• Increase traffic with SCMagLev facilities and track maintenance equipment on I-95 and the BWI Parkway, and through our communities.

• Have one stop in Anne Arundel County, and no stops in Prince Georges County, resulting in virtually no benefit to the residents and businesses in our counties.

With 38 years in the Medical field for 38 years. I was licensed in and worked in or with Radiology, Mammography, Nuclear Medicine, CT, MRI, and PET/CT imaging and am knowledgeable about radiation in many forms knowing that any long-term exposure at any level will have lasting negative effects on the human body. Of this list of concerns presented earlier, I want to call out two items.

(1) If built, the SCMagLev will potentially release toxins, carcinogens, and Radon gas into our communities.

As described during the 10/16/2017 BWRR-MTA Open House by the Louis Berger professional engineer, the ventilation facilities primary purpose is to clear smoke in case there is a fire in the tunnel. Located every 3 to 4 miles apart along the underground tunneled route, the ventilation units will be forcing air into the tunnel on one side of the tunnel section with smoke, and the next ventilation facility will be exhausting air from the tunnel. In other words, one ventilation facility will be pressurizing the tunnel ahead of the section of the tunnel with smoke, and the alternate ventilation facility will be de-pressurizing the tunnel to exhaust the smoke to the atmosphere.

Here's our concern. The source of a fire will likely be electrical. Such a fire consumes electrical insulation and lubricants. These fuel sources when burned produce both toxic and carcinogen compounds, which according to the planned use of the ventilation system described, will exhaust these dangerous compounds into the atmosphere, exposing the surrounding communities to these unhealthy chemical compounds. Such carcinogen exposure released in the atmosphere can potentially create damaging respiratory effects possibly leading to life threatening scenarios for the residents living by the vents and inhaling these carcinogens. Our question - What is the short, mid and long-term health effect will this have on the affected community? If nothing else, it will have a negative effect on property values. After all, who wants to raise their family next to a facility that may poison them at any time?

As you all know, Anne Arundel and Price George Counties have naturally occurring Radon gas. Radon gas is a known carcinogen, which is why homes and other building are tested across both Anne Arundel County and Prince Georges County. Infiltrating from the ground, this colorless and odorless gas finds its way into building basements through cracks and seams between the basement walls and concrete floor.

During the discussion with the professional engineer from Louis Berger hired to design the SCMagLev build, we asked about water infiltration, drainage and pumped water removal, as the tunneling under Linthicum will likely intersect the aquifer. Also, the question of monitoring and venting naturally occurring gases leaking into the tunnel through the same openings with which ground water enters, as the tunnel will serve as a large collecting system for ground leaching gases as it transits Anne Arundel County 80 to 150 feet below the surface. When these ventilation facilities exhaust into the atmosphere, anyone near these facilities will also be exposed to any radon gas collected in the tunnel. As with all radioactive materials, depending on the intensity of the exposure and length of exposure time determines the severity of the side effects. With that said any low-level exposure whether to radiation over a long time period is sure to have negative effects on the human body that will result in health issues at some level. And like long term exposure to low level radiation, long term exposure to low levels of electromagnetism may also have cumulative health effects on the human body and needs to be evaluated. Our questions – What long-term cumulative health effect will radon gas and electromagnetic exposure have on the affected community as radioactive radon gas is vented into the atmosphere through the ventilation facilities? What is the long term health impact of exposure to low level oscillating electromagnetic fields as the SCMagLev transit passes under our homes, businesses, schools and their playgrounds?

(2) If built, the SCMagLev will expose our school structures, personal, and students to constant low-level vibration, and low-level oscillating magnetic fields as the train running under them.

As the train passes underground below our schools, homes and businesses, what affect will the resulting vibration have on the structures? As you know, masonry structures do not fare well with constant exposure to vibration. Now given, most of our homes and businesses are built upon concrete foundations and masonry walls, continuous exposure to even low-level vibrations will likely have a cumulative effect, to include cracking and then water penetration, negatively impacting the structural integrality of the building.

In summary, LSIA has provided a list of reasons why the SCMagLev should be stopped now before Maryland is leveraged into a position where it has no choice to but to make use of our needed tax dollars to directly or indirectly fund the SCMagLev building, operation, maintenance and security. Tax dollars better spent to replace, repair and enhance existing transportation infrastructure. LSIA has pointed out the potential of venting toxic, carcinogens and radioactive gas into our communities. LSIA has noted the serious concerns we have with the low-level exposure to radioactive gas and low-level electromagnetic fields and the cumulative health impact these would have on our residents.

And my concluding question – Are you willing to expose our children to find out what the health effects will be?

In conclusion, I support Senate Bill 200, as there are many transportation priorities that are worthier of attention and less likely to create a future property and health impact on our citizens.”

Again, thank you for this opportunity to testify at this hearing.

I have provided a printed copy of my testimony for your review and records.