“If they’re going to make us go back and start redoing them, then I think it’s time to probably pull the plug on the second lake,” Houston said.
And here we are. Hunter dam was rejected by state and federal regulators yet again. But, some on the city council still haven't accepted reality and are trying to revive it. Keeping this bad idea alive will mean doing another series of environmental studies and starting the costly years-long process of getting approval from scratch. Houston should keep his word. It's time to let it go.
CWLP may be able to fool the city council with a comically flawed study of the alternatives. Attempting the same stunt with EPA and the Corps of Engineers would be a foolish waste of time and money.
The biggest water hog in Springfield is CWLP's coal power plants. New federal pollution rules will require CWLP (probably within the next five years) to either 1) shut down their older Dallman 1 & 2 coal units which date back to the 60's and early 70's, or 2) convert them to natural gas, or 3) spend millions upgrading pollution controls on plants that are already near the end of their lifespan. Thanks Obama! The newer Dallman 4 plant is less water intensive than the aging units.
Shutting down or converting the older coal units will make CWLP's estimate of their supposed water needs obsolete. In the near future, the city will nearly eliminate the primary reason hunter dam was proposed: keeping Lake Springfield water levels high enough for the now-obsolete coal power plants.
An ordinance to revive Hunter Dam is on the agenda for Tuesday's city council meeting. Citizens will be there in opposition Tuesday, March 4, 5pm at the Municipal Center West. You can submit this form in advance if you'd like to speak.
Just because a small group of people figured out a way to make lots of money on a project nobody needs, doesn't obligate city taxpayers to waste more money going down a dead-end road.