10/4/2017 1:12:00 PM DEQ Shuts Down Falling Spring Hydroelectric Plant
The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality has ordered a small hydroelectric plant in Alleghany County to shut down.
The Roanoke Times reported Tuesday that DEQ inspectors discovered that Hydro-FS LLC was temporarily withdrawing about 5 million gallons of water per day from Falling Spring Creek, causing portions of the waterway to run dry.
The state conducted its investigation in May after receiving complaints from residents, the newspaper said.
The hydro plant, located downstream from Falling Spring overlook, generates power for Dominion Energy.
Hydro-FS shut the plant down as part of an agreement with the DEQ. The plant could resume operations if a permit is obtained from the state, but the owner said he plans to sell the facility.
The plant was built in 1910.
A consent order, which essentially shuts the plant down, will not become final until the DEQ receives comments from the public. Comments can be submitted until Nov. 1 by e-mail to Lee.Crowell@deq.virginia.gov of by mail to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, P.O. Box 1105, Richmond, Va. 23219.