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Meet EGLE's Dam Safety Unit staff, which oversees more than 1,100 dams in Michigan

With the hiring of a fourth dam safety engineer, the newly created Dam Safety Unit of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy has doubled its staff.

Before May 2020, when two dams in Mid-Michigan failed, the Dam's staff had 2 1/2 staff and a budget of approximately $350,000. In the year since the failures, EGLE has created a standalone Dam Safety Unit with five full-time staff and a budget of $750,000, thanks in part to the Legislature, which approved more funding for the program.

With more staff, the Dam Safety Unit will be able to double its efforts, perform more inspections and allow for a continued focus on enforcement and compliance issues while identifying deficiencies at structures across the state. The staff will also work to fulfill the appropriate recommendations from the Michigan Dam Safety Task Force. For example, it will prioritize performing a portfolio risk assessment of all the dams that will inform future decision-making.

Let's meet the Dam Safety Unit's staff.

Luke Trumble, supervisor

Trumble is a professional engineer who was named the unit supervisor in February 2021. Trumble has been with the Dam Safety Unit for 11 years and his geographic territory before being named supervisor was the southern Lower Peninsula.

During his tenure with the Dam Safety Program, Trumble has served as a state expert in dam design, permitting, construction and removal. Trumble has also participated in several dam failure investigations since joining the Dam Safety Unit.

Prior to joining EGLE, he worked for four years in engineering consulting as a design engineer and project manager. Trumble has a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Michigan State University.

Dan DeVaun, senior dam safety engineer

DeVaun has worked for EGLE for two years and was instrumental in the department's response to the Edenville Dam collapse and future planning, including leading the planning for emergency work to lower the Tobacco River spillway on the dam to protect downstream residents and resources. Under the reconstituted Dam Safety Unit, DeVaun will serve as a senior engineer who will provide statewide support to staff engineers for in-field work and inspections while focusing on larger projects such as the portfolio risk assessment.

Prior to joining EGLE, DeVaun worked for 18 years in engineering consulting as a design engineer, project manager and business line leader. His consultant career focused on water resources and storm water management, with much of his work being dam modifications, reconstruction, and removals.

DeVaun has a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Michigan Technological University.

Amira Oun, dam safety engineer

Oun joined the EGLE Dam Safety Unit in December 2020. Before joining the Dam Safety Unit, Oun worked for four years in EGLE's Water Resources Division, Surface Water Assessment Section, coordinating Section 401 of the Federal Clean Water Act, Water Quality Certifications for federally regulated hydropower dams. She also spent eight years in engineering consulting in Libya.

She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Al-Fateh University in Tripoli, Libya; a Master of Science degree in Environmental Engineering; and a PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering, both from Michigan State University.

Thomas Horak, dam safety engineer

Horak was hired by EGLE in March 2021 after previously working for the water resources division of a consulting engineering firm. His work was primarily completed for County Drain Commissioners throughout the Lower Peninsula. Horak also worked for several years as an intern before becoming a design engineer at the consulting engineering firm.

He graduated in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Michigan State University.

Michael Size, dam safety engineer

Size joined the Dam Safety Unit in June 2021 after working as a project/field engineer consultant for four years. In that role he has provided civil and environmental engineering support on projects in water resources, construction inspection and site planning. As a consulting engineer, he has performed hydrologic and hydraulic modeling, calculations pertaining to dam and spillway design, dam construction oversight, drone surveying, streambank stabilization design and site grading. While performing construction oversight, Size worked with regulatory agencies such as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and California Division of Safety of Dams (DSOD).

He graduated from Michigan Technological University with a bachelor's degree in Environmental Engineering in the fall of 2017.

This map shows the territories and contact information for Dam Safety Unit staff.

To report dam safety emergencies, call 800-292-4706.

For more information, go to the Dam Safety Unit or Edenville Dam Recovery webpages.

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