IMAGE: Edenville Dam

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy announced steps to improve the safety of state-regulated dams.

The department is expected to hire a senior environmental engineer to act as a third inspector in the Dam Safety Program, the state said in a press release on Thursday, July 30.

In addition, EGLE is evaluating the program to improve dam safety.

EGLE has partnered with the Association of State Dam Safety Officials to perform an independent review of the Dam Safety Program.

“The review will recommend ways to improve the performance and management of the program, and evaluate its mission, objectives, and policies and procedures,” the state said.

A second review will be conducted by the Michigan Dam Safety Task Force, which is compromised of state and federal agencies, local governments, and affected stakeholders.

The task force will recommend improvements to the Dam Safety Program to prevent future dam failures.

“In June, EGLE announced a team of six independent experts who will perform an independent forensic investigation of the contributing factors that led to the failures of the Edenville and Sanford dams in May in Mid-Michigan,” the state said.

The state said Boyce Hydro, which owns both dams, has refused to come to an agreement with the investigative team.

“Boyce has also ignored key deadlines to perform critical post-failure evaluations and work related to the portion of the Edenville Dam along the Tobacco River,” the state said.

The team’s investigation could take up to 18 months to complete.

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