Maryland's Department of Natural Resources has dropped two northern Eastern Shore counties - Kent and Queen Annes - from consideration as possible sites for electric power plants.
This means that one of two southern Eastern Shore counties - Dorchester or Wicomico - will be the future location of a facility for Delmarva Power and Light Co.
The Kent County Commissioners were informed that their rural locality, whose residents bitterly opposed the proposed plant, was disqualified under federal standards governing nuclear power plants because of its proximity to Baltimore.
According to the law, the population within a 30-mile radius of a nuclear power plant can be denser than 500 persons per square mile.
Delmarva had not decided whether to build a nuclear powered or fossil fuel powered facility. But the possibility that a nuclear facility would be built forced the company to consider that parts of the Baltimore area that spread westward across the Chesapeake Bay from the Kent site reach a density of 790 persons per square mile.
Acting Gov. Blair Lee III ordered yesterday that Queen Anne's County just south of Kent be dropped from consideration because of the potential negative impact of the industry on agricultural production, historial sites and aquatic resources, as well as the strong public opposition to the proposal.
In addition, in a meeting Monday with state officials involved in choosing power sites. Lee expressed the opinion that the lower Eastern Shore counties, which have lower per capita taxes than Kent and Queen Anne's would be better served economically by the new industry.
By November after further technical studies and public hearings, Natural Resources Secretary James B. Custer will select one of the two counties for the proposed facility, which is not expected to go into operation before 1990.