89.1 WEMU

Issues Of The Environment: Moving Process Forward To Remove Peninsular Paper Dam From Huron River

Dec 2, 2020

Huron River Watershed Council executive director Rebecca Esselman
Credit Huron River Watershed Council / hrwc.org

After study and gathering community feedback, Ypsilanti City Council voted in 2019 in favor of removing the Peninsular Paper Dam from the Huron River.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," Huron River Watershed Council executive director Rebecca Esselman joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss progress toward that end.  Phase II of the removal project is just getting underway. 


Overview

  • In May 2019, Ypsilanti City council voted to remove the aging Peninsular Dam.  The dam was built to provide hydroelectric power to a paper mill that produced newsprint for Chicago from the 1860s to the 1970s.  The Peninsular Paper Company gave the land and the responsibility of maintaining the dam to the city in the 1980s.
  • A feasibility study was completed in 2018 and was presented to Ypsi’s City Council.  The City Council hosted a Town Hall meeting in February 2019 to share the findings with the community and get feedback before making a decision.  The City then collected feedback from the community via its website.  On May 7, 2019, Ypsilanti’s City Council voted in favor of a resolution to approve the removal of Peninsular Dam.
  • There are three phases in the plan, and the project has just entered Phase II.

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— David Fair is the WEMU News Director and host of Morning Edition on WEMU.  You can contact David at 734.487.3363, on twitter @DavidFairWEMU, or email him at dfair@emich.edu