Green River Reservoir dispute in court

File Photo

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) A long-running dispute about water flows at a popular reservoir, and the future viability of a hydroelectric dam there, are at the heart of hearings in state environmental court this week.

The tiny utility, Morrisville Water & Light, is fighting a ruling about how much water it can draw for the hydroelectric dam on the Green River Reservoir in Hyde Park. The dispute was triggered in 2016 by the Agency of Natural Resources seeking a water quality certificate as part of the dam's federal re-licensing.

Utility officials have argued that scheduled releases from the dam not only make it more profitable to generate electricity but are also popular with whitewater paddlers and other users. The Agency of Natural Resources says the dam releases should more closely mimic the natural flow of the river.

Last summer, the court ruled against Morrisville Water & Light on some of the issues. The current hearings are scheduled to run through next Thursday.