Heuvelton Dam Owner to Restock Oswegatchie River

Patty Ritchie

July 28, 2011

In Wake Of Last Spring’s Dam Break

State Senator Patty Ritchie announced Friday that Brookfield Renewable Power, the owner of the hydroelectric dam at Heuvelton, will restock the Oswegatchie River upstream from the village in the wake of last spring’s dam break.

On June 8, a gate on the dam ruptured, draining millions of gallons of water from the reservoir.

When Senator Ritchie was notified by neighbors and sportsmen of the dam break, she immediately dispatched her staff to the scene, reached out to St. Lawrence county emergency responders and Brookfield Renewable Power.

The next day her staff surveyed the impact and saw wide mud flats caused by the release of millions of gallons of water from the dam.

“I want to thank Brookfield Renewable Power for their efforts to work with me and the Heuvelton community,” Senator Ritchie said. “The company takes its responsibilities as a steward of the Oswegatchie River very seriously and I hope to work with the company and DEC as it develops its restocking plan.”

On Thursday, Senator Ritchie met with officials from Brookfield Renewable Power to discuss the company’s plans to remediate the impacts of the release.

Company officials said the reservoir was lowered for three days to allow the company to safely install a temporary repair. Brookfield Renewable Power is consulting with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation on a restocking plan for the Heuvelton area of the Oswegatchie River.

The company is consulting with DEC on what species should be restocked, how many of each species and when it should occur to achieve the best results.

Company officials say they appreciate the community’s patience and that they are working closely with DEC, Heuvelton Mayor Barbara Lashua and Senator Ritchie to protect and enhance the Oswegatchie River.