CUMBERLAND, Md. (AP) — A river restoration group has announced a $40,000 federal grant toward the proposed removal of a Potomac River dam at Cumberland.

The Cumberland Times-News  reported Sunday that Washington-based American Rivers received the grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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The group says the money will help pay for testing of contaminants in the river bottom that could be released by demolition work.

The group is working with local advocates for removing the 54-year-old structure and developing a whitewater paddling course. Opponents say removing the dam would ruin a two-mile stretch of relatively deep water used by motorboats.

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The dam is beneath a bridge between Cumberland and Ridgeley, W.Va.

Cumberland Mayor Brian grim says sediment testing would help city officials decide whether to support dam removal.

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