(AP) — The Hoosier Environmental Council has joined other environmental
groups in opposing a proposed seven-mile long reservoir along the White
River in central Indiana, saying it would have harmful and long-lasting
Advocates of the
Mounds Lake Reservoir project say it would improve flood control, create
prime real estate for waterfront housing and boost property values and
economic development in the Anderson area.
Tim Maloney, the
council's senior policy director, said its concerns are similar to those
raised by other opponents, including the impact on Mounds State Park,
forest areas and the river's ecosystem. He said a free-flowing river and
adjoining natural lands can provide a novel approach to sustainable
underappreciated gem of a natural resource we don't want to see drowned
under a reservoir," Maloney said.
study is being conducted for the 2,100-acre lake that's estimated to cost
between $350 million and $450 million to build. A 50-foot-high earthen dam
would create a lake in Madison and Delaware counties slightly larger than
Geist Reservoir on the northeast side of Indianapolis.
the reservoir could also provide bike paths, fishing and other
recreational activities and help supplement water needs in the
Rob Sparks, the
director of the Corporation for Economic Development, which is pushing for
the project, told The Herald Bulletin that work continues on the
feasibility study and the local group is comfortable with the information
"This is a
cost-effective solution to regional water supply issues," he said. "It
will also enhance other quality-of-life issues in the region."
Maloney said the
Hoosier Environmental Council wants alternatives that don't include
damming the river.
"We hope to
announce that plan within the next 60 days. It's something that would
extend beyond the proposed reservoir boundaries," he said.
The local Audubon
Society chapter and the Heart of the River Coalition are among other
groups opposing the reservoir. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service last month faulted reservoir planners
for not considering alternatives to damming the White River.