CBF takes legal action to stop hydroelectric facility for Cuffs Run

Keystone State News Service – Danielle Smith

A proposed pumped-storage hydroelectric facility for Cuffs Run near the Susquehanna River in York County has been challenged by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

The foundation filed a motion to intervene in the proceedings with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which is considering granting a preliminary permit to build a 1.8-mile-long dam for the project.

Harry Campbell, science policy and advocacy director for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, said they are working to stop the project in order to protect the unique Cuffs Run area and its ecological benefits for future generations.

“If approved, this project would destroy it about 580 acres of prime farmland, fields and forests, some of which have not been disturbed in about 100 years,” Campbell pointed out. “Those farms, fields and forests exist harmoniously with and in support of a plethora of plant and animal life.”

The foundation is circulating an online petition and encouraged Pennsylvanians to provide comments before Sunday.

The stream is home to naturally reproducing brook trout. Advocates worry the $2.5 billion project would also be harmful to the Susquehanna River. Campbell noted about 40 families would be displaced.

“For those who call Cuffs Run home, it’s more than just a place to live. It’s their heritage and they want it to be part of their legacy,” Campbell asserted. “This project just simply is the wrong idea in the wrong place. In order to honor that heritage and that legacy, we need to preserve this area.”

Campbell emphasized the Cuffs Run project is about 993 acres of land draining into a 2.5-mile unnamed tributary. He added in terms of stream habitat, the rocks, pebbles and woody material have been identified as among the best in the region for supporting critters living in the water.

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