Projects of special interest
There may be dams of special interest for a variety of reasons. Some ongoing projects are detailed here.
On July 28, 2009, the Department of Natural Resources sent Milwaukee County, prior owner of Estabrook Dam, an Administrative Order to Repair or Abandon the Estabrook Dam. The order was required to protect public health and safety and to ensure the dam meets acceptable design standards. Milwaukee County initially decided to repair, operate and maintain Estabrook Dam. The department prepared an environmental impact statement (EIS) to analyze the operation of the dam.
On Dec. 16, 2016, Milwaukee County applied to transfer ownership of the Estabrook Dam to the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD). The department approved the transfer request on Jan. 19, 2017. On May 1, 2017, the department deemed MMSD's application to abandon the Estabrook Dam complete to the point that the department could start reviewing the application.
Environmental review process
Both the transfer of dam ownership and abandonment of the dam are minor actions under Chapter NR 150, Wis. Adm. Code. Given the history of this project, the department will be reviewing the proposed abandonment as an integrated analysis action. This incorporates existing project documentation as well as new data and studies required for regulatory permit reviews into a complete analysis of the project impacts. The following documents are publicly available here:
- Estabrook Dam Overview Map
- Estabrook Dam Final EIS
- EIS Public comments – written
- EIS Public comments – emailed
- Estabrook Dam Environmental Impact Report
- Literature Search on Economic Impacts of Dam Removal
- SEWRPC Milwaukee River Hydraulic Analysis
The abandonment permit application from MMSD is publicly available at the Water permitting site.
The permit application has been reviewed and the approval letter has been issued.