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According to state regulators, a company that allowed sediment into the Kalamazoo River has abandoned the cleanup effort

Scrap Pile

A dam operator that polluted the Kalamazoo River by allowing large amounts of sediment to flow out of a reservoir has pulled out of the cleanup effort, according to state environmental regulators. They say STS Hydropower and its parent company, Eagle Creek Renewable Energy, walked away after months of talks. The silt poured out of the Morrow Lake reservoir after STS lowered it in 2019, in preparation for repairs on Morrow Dam. Matt Diana is a fisheries biologist with the Department of Natural Resources. He says the sediment threatens spawning areas for smallmouth bass, as well as mussel beds.

"But in general it’s uncharacteristic for the Kalamazoo River system to look the way it does now," said Diana.

STS dredged a very small portion of the affected area earlier this year. The Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy says it’s exploring all of its enforcement options. Eagle Creek declined to comment.

Sehvilla Mann joined WMUK’s news team in January 2014 as a reporter on the local government and education beats. Before that she covered a variety of topics, including environmental issues, for Bloomington, Indiana NPR and PBS affiliates WFIU and WTIU. She’s also written and produced stories for the Pacifica Network and WYSO Public Radio in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Sehvilla holds a B.A. in French from Earlham College and an M.A. in journalism from Indiana University.