article photo 1

Cuyahoga Hydro Proponents Bail (OH)

Posted: 06/12/2009
by Kevin Colburn

Today the proponents of a hydropower project on the Cuyahoga River sent the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission a letter withdrawing their permit request.  The proposed project would have dewatered a local paddling spot called Butterfly Rapids, impacted a public park, and assured the maintenance of a dam that has long been a prime candidate for removal based on its environmental and recreational impacts.  Beneath the dam's reservoir is the famed Cuyahoga Falls.


The hydropower proposal met strong opposition from MetroParks Serving Summit County, Ohio EPA, Friends of the Crooked River, local paddling clubs, and American Whitewater.  Ultimately is was this opposition that resulted in the proponent backing out of their plans.     


While adding or restoring hydropower to existing dams is often a relatively low impact means of generating power, this was not such a case.  This project simply had too many environmental and social impacts to justify its extremely minimal power benefits.  It is now hoped that the community can proceed with dam removal. 


Additional information on this river reach and issue on the AW river page for the reach (see river box to the right)


You can also read the letter cancelling their permit request here.