MORRISVILLE, Vt. — A national whitewater paddling group and its local affiliate are appealing a water quality certification issued by the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation.

American Whitewater and the Vermont Paddlers Club are appealing the certification as part of the federal relicensing process for the hydroelectric dam operated by the Morrisville Water and Light Department at Green River Reservoir, Vermont Public Radio reported (

The club’s members paddle on the Green River during scheduled dam releases. But under a new water quality certification, those releases wouldn’t be permitted. The certification calls for flows closer to the natural run of the river.

The state says new flow restrictions won’t preclude whitewater recreation. The change in conditions is intended to improve the natural habitat downstream of the dam.

“The annual winter draw down causes an annual disturbance that prevents the establishment of a rich diversity of native aquatic plants that would provide high quality habitat for fish and wildlife due to dewatering and freezing of the near shore area. A water level management scenario that more closely mimics a natural system would support the development of a healthy littoral plant community consistent with high quality aquatic habitat,” states the new water quality certification states. “This certification is being conditioned such that the water level management regime will provide high quality aquatic habitat in the reservoir.”

The appeal has been filed in Vermont’s Environmental Court.

Information from: WVPS-FM,