FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 25, 2011
Brian Elkington, 612-713-5168
Ashley Spratt, 612-713-5314
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Announces Public Meeting on Ballville Dam Removal Proposal
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will host a public information meeting on the proposed removal of Ballville Dam from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 27 at the Vanguard Vocational School Tech Center Lecture Lab, 1220 Cedar St., in Fremont, Ohio.
The Service will develop an environmental impact statement (EIS) to analyze the proposed removal of Ballville Dam, proposed alternatives and associated impacts, in addition to a no-action alternative, as required under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). This public meeting is intended to provide a venue and opportunity for public comments to be considered when drafting the EIS.
Stantec Inc., joined by representatives from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the City of Fremont, will present findings of the Ballville Dam feasibility study. The public will be provided comment cards and an opportunity to inform the Service verbally of their comments and ask questions of the panel on the proposed removal of Ballville Dam.
Note: For comments to be considered in the NEPA process, they must be submitted in writing at the meeting, mailed to Brian Elkington, Fisheries, 5600 American Boulevard West, Suite 990, Bloomington Minnesota, 55437, faxed to (612) 713-5289, or emailed to Ballvilledam@fws.gov. The public comment period will close on November 21, 2011.
Ballville Dam is currently a complete barrier to upstream fish passage for the commercially and recreationally valuable Sandusky River walleye stock. Removal of the dam will restore access to approximately 22 miles of previously unavailable riverine habitat, including an estimated 300 acres of suitable walleye spawning habitat. Removal of the dam is anticipated to restore the designated beneficial uses to this segment of the river. Additionally, Ohio DNR has identified a number of safety hazards associated with the condition of the 97-year-old structure.
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.
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