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Hydroelectric plant questions

Dear Editor:

I look forward to the Red Ant giving us some levity and asking some tough questions in this upcoming mayoral race.

I have one of those questions ” it concerns the Castle Creek hydroelectric plant project. Now hydroelectric power sounds like good clean fun, and I certainly support the concept (a friend once told me there is a special place in hell for people who don’t support green, renewable energy), but my concern is the impact on Castle Creek where the water will be diverted.

From the proposed hydroelectric plant located under the Castle Creek Bridge up-river for approximately a mile, 25 cubic feet of water per second will be taken out of the river, so visualize 5 feet by 5 feet of water per second ” that water will be diverted through a pipe, then be reintroduced back through the hydroelectric plant.

My concern is that so much water will be taken out to run the hydro plant that through the late summer, fall and winter, Castle Creek through that mile section will simply quit running. There is a minimum stream flow law set in place ” it calls for 12 cubic feet per second to be left in the stream. So again, visualize 3 feet by 4 feet ” that’s how much water could be left in the river. That’s not much spread across a 20-foot stream bed; Castle Creek could turn into “Dribble Creek.” What are the environmental impacts on the river? How much environmental impact is there in building the plant and running it, diverting the water? Is this all going to be worth it?

So that’s my question for those in the mayor’s race. I have gotten to know LJ through the historic preservation task force that we both sit on; I find him to be thoughtful. I have also gotten to know both Mick and Andrew through the Lift One COWOP that we all sat on; and I found out that yes, Mick does have a sense of humor. The person who surprised me most, however, was Andrew ” he is actually a much nicer person than his TV image, and I thought he came up with some good ideas and listened well; I am glad he is taking his candidacy seriously.

It will be of interest where candidates stand on this issue.

Yasmine de Pagter

Aspen


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