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Legislation in answer to Morrow Dam sediment spill gets hearing in State Senate committee Wednesday

LANSING, MI (WKZO AM/FM) – Legislation introduced by two Kalamazoo lawmakers that would give the state more authority to go after dam operators that cause environmental damage gets a hearing in Lansing Wednesday morning. The Michigan Senate Natural Resources Committee will take testimony on Senate Bill 813, which was introduced in December by Senator Sean McCann, two years after a massive amount of sediment was released into the Kalamazoo River by operators of the Morrow Dam. Among those set to testify are Cheryl Vosburg, Executive Director of the Kalamazoo River Watershed Council and Ryan Baker, President of the Kalamazoo River Alliance, in addition to McCann. The committee meeting will take place in Room 1300 of the Binsfeld Office Building in Lansing, but anyone can watch the livestream of the meeting on SenateTV. The hearing begins at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday. McCann and State Representative Julie Rogers say they introduced their legislation bills to strengthen the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy’s (EGLE) authority to protect Michigan’s water and natural resources from damage by dam operators. STS Hydropower are the operators of the Morrow Dam, located on the banks of the Kalamazoo River in Comstock Township. In October 2019, STS Hydropower lowered water levels around the dam in order to make repairs deemed necessary by federal regulators. As they did so, 400,000 cubic yards of