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Wed May 20, 2020, 08:07 AM

Owners Of Collapsed MI Dam Were Cited, Repeatedly, By Feds For Unsafe Conditions, Failure To Repair

MIDLAND — The owner of a Gladwin County dam that failed and prompted widespread evacuations Tuesday was cited repeatedly by federal officials for safety violations, including failing to fix spillways used to prevent flooding, records show. Federal authorities revoked the licenses of owners Boyce Hydro Power LLC in 2018, alleging that it “failed for many years to comply with significant license and safety requirements, notwithstanding having been given opportunities to come into compliance.”

In court papers and federal records, regulators wrote that Boyce Hydro of Edenville had a “history, going back to 2004” of missing deadlines to make repairs on the Edenville Dam that failed.

“That long history of noncompliance ranges from failing to report structural instability to inadequate water quality monitoring — but Boyce Hydro’s failure, in particular, to increase the spillway capacity to address flood risk has raised serious concerns about public safety,” the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission wrote in a federal lawsuit over regulations in 2017. The dam’s failure following heavy rains prompted a massive evacuation of thousands in mid-Michigan that was ongoing Tuesday night, and torrents of water threatened another dam and triggered the immediate evacuation in and around Midland.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced plans to declare a state of emergency after rising water from heavy rains punched a huge hole in the Edenville dam which holds back Wixom Lake from the Tittabawassee River.

EDIT

https://www.bridgemi.com/michigan-environment-watch/mid-michigan-dam-failed-was-cited-years-safety-violations

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Reply Owners Of Collapsed MI Dam Were Cited, Repeatedly, By Feds For Unsafe Conditions, Failure To Repair (Original post)
hatrack May 20 OP
hatrack May 20 #1
mountain grammy May 20 #2
Midnight Writer May 20 #3
hatrack May 20 #4

Response to hatrack (Original post)

Wed May 20, 2020, 08:18 AM

1. Update - Now Three Dams In All Have Failed - And Here's What FERC Had To Say

"Commission staff have worked with (Boyce Hydro) for over 13 years on the spillway capacity issue alone and have sent numerous letters and other communications directing the licensee to bring the project into compliance," the order reads. "Notwithstanding multiple extensions and other accommodations by staff, the licensee still has not made substantial progress toward meeting its compliance obligations. Given the licensee's persistent pattern of non-compliance, and the unlikely chance that the licensee will change course without further Commission action, we are requiring the licensee to cease generation at the project by Nov. 27, 2017."

This is a list of some of the issues:

The June compliance order outlines the following seven issues:

Failing to increase the spillway capacity of the project to address the probable maximum flood
Performing unauthorized dam repairs
Performing unauthorized earth-moving activities
Failing to file an adequate Public Safety Plan
Failing to construct approved recreation facilities
Failing to acquire all necessary property rights
Failing to comply with a 1999 order approving its Water Quality Monitoring Plan

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/5/19/1946327/-FLASH-FLOOD-EMERGENCY-EdenVille-and-Sanford-Dam-in-Midland-Saginaw-Michigan-just-collasped?utm_campaign=trending#comment_77380487

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Response to hatrack (Reply #1)

Wed May 20, 2020, 05:03 PM

2. There should be prison time for this

But they’ll declare bankruptcy and walk away.

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Response to mountain grammy (Reply #2)

Wed May 20, 2020, 05:08 PM

3. Absolutely. The only thing that will stop this crap is holding people criminally responsible.

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Response to Midnight Writer (Reply #3)

Wed May 20, 2020, 05:16 PM

4. The South Fork Dam above Johnstown, PA was privately owned

When it collapsed, more than 2,000 people died. And then . . .

In the years following the disaster, some people blamed the members of the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club for their modifications to the dam and failure to maintain it properly. The club had bought and redesigned the dam to turn the area into a vacation retreat in the mountains. They were accused of failing to maintain the dam properly, so that it was unable to contain the additional water of the unusually heavy rainfall.

The club was successfully defended by the firm of Knox and Reed (later Reed Smith LLP), whose partners Philander Knox and James Hay Reed were both Club members. The Club was never held legally responsible for the disaster. Knox and Reed successfully argued that the dam's failure was a natural disaster which was an Act of God, and no legal compensation was paid to the survivors of the flood.[20] The perceived injustice aided the acceptance, in later cases, of "strict, joint, and several liability," so that even a "non-negligent defendant could be held liable for damage caused by the unnatural use of land."[21]

Nonetheless, individual members of the club, millionaires in their day, contributed to the recovery. Along with about half of the club members, co-founder Henry Clay Frick donated thousands of dollars to the relief effort in Johnstown. After the flood, Andrew Carnegie, then known as an industrialist and philanthropist, built the town a new library.[citation needed]

Ed. - Ooh! How overwhelming!!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnstown_Flood

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