Public Input Sought in Removal of Hydroelectric Dams

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Six years ago, Traverse City Light and Power, the owner of the hydroelectric projects on the Boardman River decided that the economic and environmental benefits to be gained by discontinuing to operate the projects would be greater than the benefits provided by power generation.

Now, they are trying to decide whether the four dam should be removed. Of the four dams, Union Street does not have any hydroelectric project.

The settlement agreement signed in 2002 and the license surrender approved in 2005 opened doors for potential of dam removal on Boardman river, a state designated "Natural River."

The Boardman Rivers Dam Committee, formed as a result of the settlement agreement, now meets regularly to discuss dam removal. The development of engineering and feasibility study has already begun.

Now the committee is seeking public input on the fate of dams. Besides removal of dams other possible alternatives are repair and retention, modification, or removal of one or more dams.

To help make an informed decision the committee invites public to participate in meetings.

The Michigan Hydro Licensing Coalition, a member of Hydropower Reform Coalition, has been actively participating in this process.