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NIPSCO says it may have to pull water from Lake Shafer to Lake Freeman water levels

In a statement released to News 18 NIPSCO, natural gas and electric company in Northern Indiana, says it may have to move water from Lake Shafer.

Posted: Nov 3, 2020 9:08 AM
Updated: Nov 10, 2020 2:26 PM

WHITE & CARROLL COUNTIES, Ind. (WLFI)— NIPSCO released a statement Tuesday morning that it may have to move water from Lake Shafer to Lake Freeman in order to keep water flowing toward the Oakdale Dam. 

The company said during normal operations, NIPSCO is required to operate both dams as "Run-of-River”, under its license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

The natural gas and electric company said If there is not enough water in Lake Freeman to maintain the required flows through the Oakdale Dam, NIPSCO may need to utilize the Norway Dam to draw on Lake Shafer in order to meet the federal requirements.

As news 18 has previously reported, Lake Freeman has suffered from low lake levels since the summer. It's in part due to an abnormally dry season for the area and a mandate by environmental group U.S. Fish and Wildlife to keep water flowing from Lake Freeman toward the Oakdale Dam to preserve what the organization says are endangered mussels. 

Shafer Freeman Lakes Environmental Conservation Corporation, a local group serving White and Carroll counties, filed a suit to the Circuit Courts claiming that U.S. Fish and Wildlife erroneously passed the mandate through the Endangered Species act. 

Both groups had oral arguments in a Washington D.C. court. Both groups are waiting for the court's final decision. Member of Shafer Freeman Lakes Environmental Conservation Corporation John Koppelmann said it's a problem that is fixable with co-operation from U.S. Fish and Wildlife.

If things work in favor of SFLECC the group hopes to create a plan with U.S. Fish and Wildlife. The plan would be a compromise to keep the mussels safe and Lake Freeman levels where they should be.

For the previous story click here. 

For information on SFLECC click here. 

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