EGLE names Michigan Dam Safety Task Force members; first meeting is Tuesday
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 3, 2020
Nick Assendelft, Public Information Officer, AssendelftN@Michigan.gov, 517-388-3135
The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) today announced the 19 members of the Michigan Dam Safety Task Force, which will provide recommendations on policy, budget, legislative and enforcement reforms to prevent future dam failures across the state.
The members represent local governments, key dam safety stakeholders and state agencies. They will meet for the first time starting at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 8 in an online meeting open to the public.
“The Michigan Dam Safety Task Force members have broad expertise and knowledge in all areas related to dam safety,” said EGLE Director Liesl Clark. “The historic rain event which led to the dam failure and catastrophic 500-year flooding event in Mid-Michigan illuminated the consequences of inadequate investing in infrastructure. It also points to potential improvements that should be made in policies, procedures, funding and regulations. The Task Force will analyze those areas and others and we are eager to see their recommendations.”
The members of the Task Force are:
- Melinda Bacon, senior consultant, SME engineering consulting of Plymouth.
- John Broschak, vice president of generation operations and compression, Consumers Energy.
- Bryan Burroughs, executive director, Michigan Trout Unlimited.
- Brett Fessell (invited), river restoration ecologist, Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians.
- Dr. Marty Holtgren, executive director, Muskegon River Watershed Assembly.
- Dr. Dana Infante, assistant director of AgBioResearch, Michigan State University.
- Douglas Jester, partner, 5 Lakes Energy.
- Jim Kochevar, general manager of Michigan operations, Cleveland-Cliffs.
- Paul Malocha, Stantec Consulting Services; member, Association of State Dam Safety Officials
- Tanya Paslawski, president, Michigan Electric and Gas Association.
- Evan Pratt, water resources commissioner, Washtenaw County.
- Bill Rustem, advisor to former Michigan governors William Milliken and Rick Snyder.
- Dr. Stan Vitton, professor of civil and environmental engineering, Michigan Technological University.
- Abigail Watkins, director of emergency services, Newaygo County.
- Glen Wiczorek, senior utilities engineer, City of Ann Arbor.
Representing the State of Michigan:
- Paul Ajegba, director, Michigan Department of Transportation.
- Liesl Clark, director, EGLE.
- Dan Eichinger, director, Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
- Dan Scripps, chairman, Michigan Public Service Commission.
Those wishing to attend the meeting can join online or call 248-509-0316 and use the conference code 750 093 554 #. Anyone who needs language assistance or accommodations for effective participation at the meeting should contact Holly Simons at SimonsH@Michigan.gov or 517-284-5567, to request language, mobility, visual, hearing, translation, and/or other assistance.
The Task Force is expected to release its findings early next year.
The Task Force’s deliberations will complement three other in-depth internal and external reviews: an independent forensic investigation into the dam failures, an outside review of the state’s Dam Safety Program and an evaluation of the remaining portion of the Edenville Dam.
On Monday, EGLE sent to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer its Preliminary Report on the Edenville Dam Failure, Response Efforts, and Program Reviews report summarizing the department’s actions during and following the failures of the Edenville and Sanford dams, and outlining the status of reviews of the state’s dam safety operations.
Information about the dam failure investigation, program review, news and other resources can be found at the Edenville Dam Failure webpage.
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