The construction of hydropower facilities at existing dams usually causes a limited environmental impact because there is no land inundated due to new dam construction, and the character of the stream is not greatly altered. The environmental impact of these hydropower facilities should not be entirely discounted, however. There are likely to be a few cases where a fishery may be harmed, public health may be threatened due to dredge spoils, or a historic structure may be destroyed. Some regulatory agencies are taking the approach that small-scale hydropower facilities should be evaluated on an impact per kilowatt-hour scale if the environmental impacts are to be equitably compared with those of nuclear or coal fired power plants.
LEGISLATIVE COMMISSION ON MINNESOTA RESOURCES
STATE OF MINNESOTA
St. Paul, Minnesota
Gulliver, John S.; Lindblom, Karen L.C..
Environmental impacts of hydropower development at existing Minnesota dams.
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