Saving Jordan's Point Dam

    

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

January 9, 2019


American Dams Claims Misleading Bias in Current Environmental Assessment of Jordan’s Point Dam

Non-profit corporation believes information in EA to be “subjective”, “lacking information”


Bedford, VA (Jan. 9, 2019) – Earlier this week, American Dams announced their commitment to save Jordan’s Point Dam, located in Rockbridge County, Virginia, from demolition, on the basis of an incomplete Environmental Assessment [EA] which omits the benefits of restoring the dam, as well as steps for how the dam could be preserved.


For an Environmental Assessment [EA] to be transparent and accurate, it must remain objective. American Dams argues that the current Environmental Assessment for Jordan’s Point Dam has been created in bias, providing misleading information in favor of the dam’s demolition. American Dams believes that the solutions in the EA do not act in the best interest of habitat connectivity and resident fish passage, with the option of dam repair dismissed overall in the document. American Dams believes that this indicates the EA was constructed in a way which would lead to a biased conclusion of the report.


The current Environmental Assessment [EA] advises that the demolition of Jordan’s Point Dam will connect 1,140 miles of fish habitat. However, 1,084 miles are already connected, and the removal of the dam would only add an additional 56 miles, rather than the 1,140 miles insinuated in the report. The EA also states 21.8 miles of the Maury River would be opened up, when it would only be opened by an additional seven miles. The passage of resident fish is stated to be one of the greater points in the EA to support demolition. While the EA claims that the health and protection of fish passage is at risk due to Jordan’s Point Dam, the fisheries both upstream and downstream of the dam are currently described as healthy. An alternative solution is not offered in the report. 


With certain information supporting the dam’s demolition highlighted, there are important points omitted regarding the dangers of removing Jordan’s Point Dam, and how removal would negatively affect the dam’s surroundings. One of the major impacts of removing Jordan’s Point Dam is the loss of the flatwater recreation. The report offers no quantification of this important resource’s loss were demolition of the dam to take place. American Dams is concerned even further as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [USFWS] committed money to the city to take out the dam before the EA was completed, which is in conflict with section 1508.13 (f) of the National Environmental Policy Act [NEPA], which states that “agencies shall not commit resources of alternatives before making a final decision”. 


When asked to elaborate on the current Environmental Assessment, American Dams Executive Director Wayne Dyok said, “American Dams asked for the opportunity to complete the analysis [of Jordan’s Point Dam] that we had started but to this day, flows have been too high to conduct the inspection. At this time, American Dams must say that it is in opposition until the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries [VDGIF] and USFWS fix the EA (as it falls short of NEPA requirements) and we can get out in the field and complete our study.”


When provided with the drafted EA issued in August 2018, American Dams submitted a letter of comments and requested that the EA be corrected to objectively assess the issues without bias. American Dams believes that only with an unbiased document of concrete research and data can a decision be made in the best interest of the public. In their comments regarding the drafted EA, American Dams requested adequate research be documented for the reservoir recreation and a professional assessment offered of which steps would be needed to repair Jordan’s Point Dam. In the finalized Environmental Assessment, these crucial points remained omitted. 


With several significant violations of NEPA within the EA, American Dams are pursuing active measures to have the final EA for Jordan’s Point Dam and the verdict of removal reevaluated until an unbiased and fully transparent document can be provided.


About American Dams

American Dams is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation.  Their mission is to educate the public on the benefit of dams, provide information on regulatory and operational matters, and operate dams for the public's benefit. There are nearly 90,000 dams across the country that provide vital societal needs including water supply, flood protection, renewable hydropower generation, recreation, water quality benefits, and environmental benefits. 


For interviews, please contact:

Wayne Dyok

Co-founder 

American Dams

american_dams@yahoo.com 

(916) 719-7022


Mark Fendig

Co-founder 

American Dams

contact@americandams.org



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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

December 17, 2018


American Dams Leads Charge to Save Jordan’s Point Dam

Virginia dam at risk for removal in light of operating permit expiration in summer 2019


Bedford, VA (Dec. 17, 2018) - American Dams, a non-profit corporation dedicated to the education and protection of dams for public benefit, announce their commitment to saving Jordan’s Point Dam, located in Rockbridge County, Virginia, from demolition. The removal of the dam is supported by the U.S. Fishing and Wildlife Service [USFWS] and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries [VDGIF], who created an Environmental Assessment document to support their conclusion.


The approved demolition project, to be funded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Fish Passage program and the State Wildlife Grant program, would see the removal of a significant portion of the dam’s mid-section, leaving a remnant on both sides of the river. The Environmental Assessment of Jordan’s Point Dam claims the removal project will connect 1,140 miles of fish habitat on the main stem of the Maury River, with improved habitat connectivity, removal of fish passage barriers and reduced public safety hazards. However, in review of the Environmental Assessment, American Dams believes the reported document to be misleading and lacking critical information which is necessary for a well-informed decision to be made regarding the future of Jordan’s Point Dam.


When asked to elaborate on the Environmental Assessment, American Dams Executive Director Wayne Dyok said, “The EA [Environmental Assessment] represents a considerable improvement over the draft EA, however, it contains misleading statements, downplays impacts of the proposed action, and exaggerates benefits of the proposed alternative.”


American Dams intends to pursue measures to have the final Environmental Assessment [EA] for Jordan’s Point Dam and the verdict of removal reevaluated based on violations of the National Environmental Policy Act [NEPA] made in the EA. 


In light of this commitment to save Jordan’s Point Dam, Dyok said, “Jordan’s Point Dam is a historic landmark that provides significant benefits to the citizens of Rockbridge County. American Dams is committed to the protection of the valuable resources dams like Jordan’s Point provide to their community.”


About American Dams

American Dams is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation.  Their mission is to educate the public on the benefit of dams, provide information on regulatory and operational matters, and operate dams for the public's benefit. There are nearly 90,000 dams across the country that provide vital societal needs including water supply, flood protection, renewable hydropower generation, recreation, water quality benefits, and environmental benefits. 


For interviews, please contact:

Wayne Dyok

Co-founder 

American Dams

american_dams@yahoo.com 

(916) 719-7022


Mark Fendig

Co-founder 

American Dams

contact@americandams.org