Federal court deals blow to Edenville Dam's former owners
The former owners of a mid-Michigan dam that catastrophically failed in 2020 have lost a round in federal court.
On Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Paul Maloney ruled the previous owners of the Edenville Dam violated parts of Michigan’s Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act.
According to state prosecutors, the company, Boyce Hydro, determined in 2010 that the east embankment of its dam might fail if Wixom Lake rose too high. The state says the defect could have been fixed, but the owners didn’t follow through.
The dam’s failure contributed to tens of millions of dollars in damage and forced thousands of people to evacuate their homes.
“The State demonstrated dam ownership disregarded threats to the safety and integrity of the dam, and absolutely was responsible for its failure, so much so they had no defense whatsoever,” said Dana Nessel, Michigan Attorney General.
The Michigan Attorney General’s office says with the judge granting a motion of summary judgment, the state "plans to seek a money judgment" against the previous owner personally.