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County Weighs In On Morrow Lake Dam

Sehvilla Mann

Kalamazoo County commissioners are weighing in on problems caused by a dam on the Kalamazoo River.

Eagle Creek Renewable Energy owns the Morrow Lake Dam near Comstock lowered water levels to make repairs in the fall of 2019. But that sent possibly contaminated sediment streaming downriver.

Kalamazoo County County Commission Chair Tracy Hall says that's been a disaster for wildlife.

"This is in our backyard. And, we have these members here who care about this, but we also have 260,000 people in the county who care about this land and the inhabitants of this land."

Eagle Creek's parent company is Ontario Power Generation in Canada. County Commissioner Zach Bauer co-wrote a letter the county sent to the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy urging quick action to deal with the problem.

"They (OPG) certainly wouldn't want a U.S. company or a U.S. entity to go their lands and to have a negative impact on their water. And, we certainly don't want that happening in our community."

Kalamazoo City commissioners are also expected to send a similar letter. EGLE has already cited the dam's owner for violating state environmental rules.

Two Kalamazoo County commissioners heading to the State House next month say privately owned dams are on their minds. Democrats Julie Rogers and Christine Morse were elected to the legislature last month. Rogers echoed concern about the Morrow Lake dam during a recent commission meeting.

"It really baffles me that dams and bridges can be privately owned. I think that's an area that Commissioner Morse and I need to look at the state level."

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