Commissioners Want Shawville Power Plant Water Discharge Temp Lowered

CLEARFIELD – The Clearfield County Commissioners are asking the Department of Environmental Protection to hold the Shawville Power Plant accountable for their water discharge and lower the temperature.

The request comes in the form of a letter, which the commissioners approved and signed on Tuesday.

The letter reads:

“Over the past few years the Commissioners of Clearfield County have observed an increase in the overall number of fish as well as the diversity of species caught both upstream and downstream of the thermal influence of the Shawville Power Plant. We attribute this increase to the improved water quality of the river due to the effects of the clean air standards and watershed improvement projects conducted by our local watershed groups as well as DEP. Over the last eight years over $12 million worth of water quality improvements have been put into the West Branch of the Susquehanna in Clearfield County. This money is $5.2 million in grants and 7.6 in match dollars.

“The Commissioners have received complaints and have seen first hand the harms caused by this discharge at the Shawville Power Plant.

“We would like to work with DEP to do what is right for the environment and the growth of Clearfield County both recreationally and economically. We need to hold Shawville Power Plant accountable for the temperature of the discharge water and its effects on our county’s waterways and fish population.”

“This area down there, it is a known aquatic dead zone,” said Commissioner Mark McCracken. “With all the effort put into cleaning up the Susquehanna something now needs to be done about this dead zone.”

Commissioner Chair Joan Robinson-McMillen discussed the work that has been done around Lock Haven to clean up the river as well as Clearfield. She also said the power plant needs to be held accountable for the temperature of its water discharge.

“We’re asking they bring the water temperature down,” said McMillen.

Commissioner John Sobel brought up the quality of the river back when the power plant was built, saying that at the time, the river was not in very good shape.

“It’s very important that we do what can do,” said Sobel. “It’s one of the few spots in the river that needs addressed.”

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