Morrow Dam owner cited for reducing flow on Kalamazoo River

Kalamazoo County

Low water levels on Morrow Lake in Kalamazoo County to help make repairs to the dam. (June 17, 2020)

COMSTOCK TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — State regulators have issued a violation notice to the owner of Morrow Dam for reducing water levels on the Kalamazoo River without permission.

The Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy cited Eagle Creek Renewable Energy on July 1 after conducting an evaluation.

The notice states that Eagle Creek violated the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act. EGLE said Eagle Creek reduced water levels through Morrow Dam in Comstock Township without a permit, which dropped levels downstream.

The reduction in water levels caused downstream water flows to be “cut abruptly” by about half, EGLE said.

After talking to Eagle Creek on June 25, EGLE said the dam’s owner reduced water flow as its generator was turned off for maintenance. While doing this, EGLE said it was not ensured that water levels were maintained downstream.

Impacts of failing to maintain these levels could result in stranding of people or animals and diminishing wildlife habitat. It could also create more problems for the massive amounts of sediment washing downstream.

The notice says the unauthorized activity needs to stop and is asking Eagle Creek to respond to them by July 12.

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