Susan Campriello • Poughkeepsie Journal
July 30, 2011
GlenhamL – Preparation for stabilization work at the Texaco Research Center Dam on the Fishkill Creek has contributed to a drop in the creek’s water level, according to officials.
Mark Hendrickson, project manager with Chevron Environmental Management Co., said the water level above the dam, which also is called the Beacon Technology Center Dam, dropped about a foot after workers removed three “stop-logs” last week ahead of the work.
Chevron will install new tie-down anchors to help stabilize the dam starting in August. Work will continue through the fall, he said.
“The project requires the level of the mill pond to be lowered behind the dam to allow for safe working conditions,” Hendrickson said in an email. “The creek flow will continue to fluctuate with natural seasonal conditions during the construction period.”
Some people familiar with the creek fear the low levels will harm the ecosystem and prevent people from swimming and boating in the area.
Michael Schetter of Wappingers Falls, who grew up along the creek, said the water level looks at least 4 feet lower than normal and the creek can’t be used for kayaking or swimming.
“The creek is no longer. It’s gone,” he said. “This is a very important thing to us.”
Glenham resident Robert Dross shared Schetter’s concern, adding the creek looks lower than it has in 34 years.
Hendrickson said 1,200 to 4,800 gallons of water were drawn from the creek to spray debris during building demolition at the adjacent Texaco Research Center in June and July. Water is now drawn from municipal water sources, for which Chevron pays, he said.
Work at the center and the dam is permitted, according to Hendrickson and the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
Wendy Rosenbach, DEC spokeswoman, said staff are aware of residents’ concerns. Staff have visited the creek, the DEC said. She said the low level could be due in part to the dry summer.
Reach Susan Campriello at email@example.com or 845-451-4518.