Edenville Dam Failure
EGLE assumed regulatory authority for the 96-year-old Edenville Dam in late 2018 after its license to generate hydropower was revoked by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. EGLE was in the process of reviewing federal records and conducted an initial inspection in October of 2018, finding that it was in fair structural condition. That preliminary assessment was not intended to determine if the dam met state safety standards. EGLE had concerns that the dam might not have enough spillway capacity – which allows water to flow out of the Wixom Lake impoundment –to meet state requirements, and therefore ordered a comprehensive structural assessment of the dam to help determine if it met state spillway, and other, safety requirements. That study had not been received by EGLE prior to the dam failure.
Additionally, EGLE was working with a local stakeholders group to facilitate their purchase of the dam from its owner, Boyce Hyrdo. That group, the Four Lakes Task Force, had aggressive plans to upgrade the dam and reacquire its federal hydropower generating license. That purchase was imminent when the failure occurred.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has ordered EGLE to coordinate an independent investigation into the causes of the Edenville failure, and to recommend ways that policies, practices, budgeting and other reforms might enhance dam safety in Michigan. EGLE has already initiated the search for an independent investigator, and looks forward to exploring ways Michiganders can be better protected from such risks.
Michigan has approximately 2,523 dams. Of those, 1,153 are regulated by either state (1,059 state) or federal (92) agencies. Some 1,370 smaller dams are not regulated. Of regulated dams, 803 are privately owned and 350 are publicly owned.
- July 30, 2020: EGLE to hire third dam inspector, appoint task force that will evaluate dam safety in Michigan
- July 29, 2020: Disaster Unemployment Assistance Available for Residents Affected by Midland-Area Flood
- July 10, 2020: Webinar to address permits needed for recovery projects after flooding from dam failures
- July 6, 2020: Flood recovery resources topic of third High Water Summit webinar this Wednesday
- July 1, 2020: EGLE, MDHHS issue recommendations for managing soil and sediment deposits downstream of Midland
- June 18, 2020: 6 experts chosen to perform independent forensic investigation of Midland-area dam failures
- June 10, 2020: Apply for EGLE Permits Before Shoreline Rebuilding on Wixom, Sanford Lakes after Midland Flooding
- June 9, 2020: State Announces Lawsuit Seeking Compensation, Restoration of Damages Caused by Boyce Hydro
- June 3, 2020: In Midland disaster's aftermath, Michigan EGLE deploys staff to assist in cleanup, investigation, testing and risk assessment
- May 28, 2020: MDOT Shares 2020 Bay Region Flooding - Map with Photos
- May 27, 2020: Governor Whitmer Directs EGLE to Investigate Failures of Edenville, Sanford Dams
- May 27, 2020: Flooding Impacts on Septic Systems and Private Wells
- May 22, 2020: Information on Michigan-regulated Dams Available Through New Interactive Map
- May 22, 2020: State Guidelines Issued to Assist Midland-area Residents with Clean Up
- May 20, 2020: New MDOT GIS map shows flooding impacts on state and local roads across Gladwin, Midland, and Saginaw counties
- May 20, 2020: DNR conservation officers evacuate people and pets during Midland County flood
- EGLE's Dam Safety web page
- Michigan State Police Mid Michigan Flooding
- Michigan Dam Safety Program - Press Briefing Presentation June 5 2020
|7/15/2020||Webinar recording - Permitting Considerations for Recovery Projects after the Mid-Michigan Floods (80 min)|
|7/8/2020||Webinar recording - Information and Resources for Residents Recovering from the Mid-Michigan Floods (93 minutes)|
|6/24/2020||Managing Soil and Sediment Deposits in Flood Zones Downstream of Midland - Recommendations|
|6/19/2020||Edenville Dam Post-Failure Emergency Inspection Report|
|6/11/2020||Spicer Group's Inspection Report: Edenville Dam, Spring 2020|
|6/9/2020||EGLE, DNR lawsuit against Boyce Hydro|
|6/5/2020||Webinar briefing on EGLE dam inspections|
|5/1/2020||State's lawsuit against Boyce Hydro Power|
|10/8/2018||Initial Inspection report, October 2018|
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer visited Midland on May 27, 2020 to survey the damage from the flooding and receive an update from the team on the ground. The Governor has directed EGLE to investigate what caused the Edenville and Sanford dams to fail. See below for photos from the governor's visit.