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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Gov. Whitmer Suspends Michigan Water Shut-Offs

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive order to reconnect residents’ water services that had been shut off.

The governor signed the $2 million Water Restart Grant Program on Saturday. The suspension of the public utility shut-offs were mandated effective immediately.

“This is a critical step both for the health of families living without a reliable water source, and for slowing the spread of the Coronavirus,” Whitmer said in a statement. “We continue to work to provide all Michiganders – regardless of their geography or income level – the tools they need to keep themselves and their communities protected.”

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