Court: Michigan Dam Owner Responsible for May 2020 Flooding

A federal judge has found the owner of the Edenville Dam responsible for widespread flooding in May 2020, that together with heavy rain, forced the evacuation of more than 10,000 people from 3,500 homes in mid-Michigan. 

U.S. District Court Judge Paul Maloney granted Attorney General Dana Nessel a summary judgment against Boyce Hydro. Nessel had filed the motion on behalf of the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy and the Department of Natural Resources.

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Standoff Between Michigan State Agencies and Boyce Hydro May Have Sealed Dams’ Fates

Adversarial relations between Boyce Hydro and state agencies may have had a pronounced contribution to the massive flooding that required the evacuation of nearly 11,000 Midland and Gladwin county residents last month and destroyed or significantly damaged hundreds of homes when the Edenville Dam in Gladwin County failed, causing the Sanford Dam in Midland County to breach.

Added to the already contentious relationship between Boyce Hydro, the private owner of four dams situated on the Tittabawasee River, and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE; formerly known as the Department of Environmental Quality or DEQ) was legal action initiated by the Michigan Office of the Attorney General and enforced by EGLE.

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