Public can comment on Michigan Dam Safety Task Force draft recommendations at online meeting Wednesday
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan. 25, 2021
Nick Assendelft, Public Information Officer, AssendelftN@Michigan.gov, 517-388-3135
The public will have an opportunity during an online meeting Wednesday, Jan. 27, to provide feedback on draft recommendations before the Michigan Dam Safety Task Force that address gaps in the state’s regulatory oversight of more than 1,000 dams in Michigan.
The 86 preliminary recommendations are posted on the Michigan Dam Safety Task Force website for the public to review prior to the meeting, which begins at 9 a.m.
There are three ways to comment on the recommendations:
- Best way is to sign up before Wednesday’s meeting: Send an email to EGLE-DamSafety@Michigan.gov with your name and the subject line “Request for Public Comment During Task Force Meeting.” The Task Force’s chairperson will call on you during the meeting to make your statement.
- You can also participate during the meeting: Attendees can provide comments without signing up beforehand by joining the meeting when it begins. However, those who submitted a request to speak will be called on first.
- You can also comment outside of the meeting: If you cannot attend but still wish to provide input you can email your feedback to EGLE-DamSafety@Michigan.gov.
Details on how to join Wednesday’s meeting online are also posted to the Dam Safety Task Force website. Those who would like to attend but do not have Internet access can join the meeting by phone. Dial 646-558-8656 and then enter the webinar ID 953 6129 8105 and passcode 960666.
The recommendations to improve the state’s Dam Safety Program were developed by the Task Force and build on the results of an Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO) review of the Dam Safety Program. ASDSO was asked by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) to perform a program peer review following the failure of two dams in May 2020 in Midland and Gladwin counties following days of heavy rain.
The Task Force recommendations, developed over the past five months, fall into six broad categories: legislation and authority; compliance, enforcement and emergency response; permitting and design review; reevaluations, inspections and surveillance monitoring; program management/funding and budgeting; and outreach and awareness/safety and security.
The public comments will aid the Dam Safety Task Force as it finalizes its report to the Governor and Legislature. The Task Force’s final meeting is 2 p.m. Feb. 3.
Individuals who need language assistance or other accommodations to participate in Wednesday’s meeting should contact Holly Simons at SimonsH@Michigan.gov or 517-284-5467.
The online meeting is being held in accordance with state recommendations designed to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The Dam Safety Task Force’s final report will guide prioritization of regulatory, financial and programmatic recommendations that are most necessary and impactful in protecting Michigan’s residents and aquatic resources.
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