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Life=Short. Jeeps=Cool
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We are 30 miles downstream. Water has been rising 3'/hr for the last few hours. Family has homes within 1/4 mile of the Tittabawassee River. Evacuated and waiting for them to fill with water. Shop and our home are miles from the river and high enough to be safe. Praying for those who are losing life's work.
3'? Or 3"?

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Are we there yet?
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As a side note, my son in law (captain in our local FD) has just been deployed to Midland for the next 72 hours. He is part of a national emergency response team who's area of expertise is radio communication. He's the guy in the truck who can connect the local sheriff with the FBI or president or whoever by linking radio frequencies, cell services, etc.
Jim - Very thankful for your son-in-law to assist with the emergency response. Its hard to really realize what fully happened over the past 15 hours, and the amount of recovery that is going to be needed once this recede's.

I'm about 9 miles east of the river (from Midland), so we are safe but I have a lot of friends who's houses, cars and belongings are all under water.

Its sad that these dams were able to be privately owned in the state that they were in. As much as I don't like to see lots of government oversight, this should have been retained in control by the US Army Corp of Engineers until the sited (Edenville Dam) issues were at least resolved.

What is even more sad is that it was originally broadcasted late Monday night that the Edenville & Sanford dam's were about to be breached, but then come Tuesday morning it was announced that they were structurally fine... then at 5:30pm the Edenville dam retainment/spillway gave out.
 

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I'm not old, honest...
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Yeah Rob I hear you. I just assumed they were owned by the Army Corps. Many lives changed forever yesterday.
 

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My moms house is fine, luckily shes up by Vets Park. The rest of Sanford is pretty much gone. River has crested at 35.5ft (2.5ft over 86 record) and is falling. Ill be leaving Iowa tomorrow hopefully to take care of moms basement flooding and help with cleanup.

I hope the old owner of Boyce Hydro goes to prison for a very long time.
 

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I'm not old, honest...
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My moms house is fine, luckily shes up by Vets Park. The rest of Sanford is pretty much gone. River has crested at 35.5ft (2.5ft over 86 record) and is falling. Ill be leaving Iowa tomorrow hopefully to take care of moms basement flooding and help with cleanup.

I hope the old owner of Boyce Hydro goes to prison for a very long time.
Glad mom is ok.

News reports are showing studies were done after it changed hands so hard to tell where the blame will fall.
 

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81 inches of fun
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Glad mom is ok.

News reports are showing studies were done after it changed hands so hard to tell where the blame will fall.
Yeah DEQ also suing Boyce for lowering water levels, DEQ also was withholding permits to repair it I read. All over native mussels in an artificial ecosystem.
 

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I'm not old, honest...
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Sounds like the gov took it over in 2018 so if nothing was done since, hard to put all the blame on the old owner.
 

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This is a pretty interesting read.
"In sum, Boyce Hydro has, for more than a decade, knowingly and willfully

refused to comply with major aspects of its license and the Commission’s regulatory

regime, with the result that public safety has been put at risk and the public has been

denied the benefits, particularly project recreation, to which it is entitled. The record

demonstrates that there is no reason to believe that Boyce Hydro will come into

compliance; rather, the licensee has displayed a history of obfuscation and outright

disregard of its obligations. We do not often revoke a license, but the licensee has left us

with no other way to vindicate the public interest here. We are mindful of the concerns

of the local community, which has suffered the results of Boyce Hydro’s malfeasance.

We conclude, however, that revoking the license will leave the community and state

agencies increased authority to deal with Boyce Hydro’s noncompliance with importadam safety requirements that have the potential to affect public safety and perhaps come

to an acceptable arrangement as to how the lakes will be operated in the absence of

hydropower generation.

For the above reasons, we find that, under section 31(b), Boyce Hydro knowingly

violated its license, the 2017 Compliance Order and other Commission orders and

regulations, and that it was given a reasonable time to comply before we commenced

this revocation proceeding. Consequently, we revoke Boyce Hydro’s license for the

Edenville Project."

It also talks about them illegally building fences to keep people away from the dam at Edenville, which I remember was a big deal. People were pissed cause it was a good fishing spot. View attachment 20180910172800-P-10808-058.pdf

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I'm not old, honest...
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This is a pretty interesting read.
"In sum, Boyce Hydro has, for more than a decade, knowingly and willfully

refused to comply with major aspects of its license and the Commission’s regulatory

regime, with the result that public safety has been put at risk and the public has been

denied the benefits, particularly project recreation, to which it is entitled. The record

demonstrates that there is no reason to believe that Boyce Hydro will come into

compliance; rather, the licensee has displayed a history of obfuscation and outright

disregard of its obligations. We do not often revoke a license, but the licensee has left us

with no other way to vindicate the public interest here. We are mindful of the concerns

of the local community, which has suffered the results of Boyce Hydro’s malfeasance.

We conclude, however, that revoking the license will leave the community and state

agencies increased authority to deal with Boyce Hydro’s noncompliance with importadam safety requirements that have the potential to affect public safety and perhaps come

to an acceptable arrangement as to how the lakes will be operated in the absence of

hydropower generation.

For the above reasons, we find that, under section 31(b), Boyce Hydro knowingly

violated its license, the 2017 Compliance Order and other Commission orders and

regulations, and that it was given a reasonable time to comply before we commenced

this revocation proceeding. Consequently, we revoke Boyce Hydro’s license for the

Edenville Project."

It also talks about them illegally building fences to keep people away from the dam at Edenville, which I remember was a big deal. People were pissed cause it was a good fishing spot. View attachment 265540

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When was this written and by who? NOTE I am not defending Boyce. But it sure sounds that after their license was revoked and the state/fed's took over, none of them did anything either.
 

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164 FERC ¶ 61,178

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION
Boyce Hydro Power, LLC Project No. 10808-058

ORDER REVOKING LICENSE

(Issued September 10, 2018)




"We disagree that revocation of the license has the potential to harm public safety.

As noted in the Order Proposing Revocation, the Michigan Department of Environmental

Quality (Michigan DEQ) has regulatory authority over dams and impoundments in the

state and will have authority over the Edenville Project as a result of this revocation.

125

Michigan DEQ regulates over 1,000 dams,126 and has extensive regulatory authority toensure that dams are constructed, operated, and maintained safely.127 For example,

Michigan law requires, among other things: (1) a licensed professional engineer prepare

plans and specifications in most instances;128 (2) approval by Michigan DEQ prior to

making modifications to the dam;129 (3) minimum spillway capacities;130 (4) periodic

inspections;131 and (5) the ability to commence a civil action for appropriate relief,

including injunctive relief, for violations.132 Therefore, although Michigan DEQ’s dam

safety regulations, including the minimum spillway capacity requirement, do not mirror

those required by the Commission, we conclude that revocation of the license does not

have the potential to harm public safety"

So Boyce had 14 years to fix the dams and didn't get it done. You expect Michigan to get it done in 20 months?

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I'm not old, honest...
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So Boyce had 14 years to fix the dams and didn't get it done. You expect Michigan to get it done in 20 months?

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Again, not defending Boyce in any way. They sucked and I think are culpable in a lawsuit. (with what little I know) With that, I'm simply saying that the government didn't do any better. If it was truly a risk (which it was) why didn't they at least initiate lowering the water level so that a flood wouldn't jeopardize the dam? I'll tell you why. Government takes years to make any fucking decision and in the meantime, they didn't want to hear the residents bitching about low water levels.

Kinda like Whitmer saying fix the damn roads and they still suck, or Trump saying drain the swamp and we still have the same shit going on.
 

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I'm trying to do this from memory, might have timeline slightly wrong.

Boyce got it's license revoked, the lake levels were dropped, four lakes task force (lakefront property owners) pops up, they're pissed the lakes are low. fltf gathers a bunch of people and money, starts purchase agreement for the dams and fights to get the water levels raised back to normal levels.

Imo Boyce is the root cause of this but there's a lot of blame to be spread around.
 

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81 inches of fun
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14,286 Posts
Again, not defending Boyce in any way. They sucked and I think are culpable in a lawsuit. (with what little I know) With that, I'm simply saying that the government didn't do any better. If it was truly a risk (which it was) why didn't they at least initiate lowering the water level so that a flood wouldn't jeopardize the dam? I'll tell you why. Government takes years to make any fucking decision and in the meantime, they didn't want to hear the residents bitching about low water levels.

Kinda like Whitmer saying fix the damn roads and they still suck, or Trump saying drain the swamp and we still have the same shit going on.
They tried to lower the water per the feds last winter... then DEQ/EGLE sued them over freshwater mussels that are native to lakes supposedly dying. This should never have been managed as a lake, but as a reservoir, with health and safety being #1 one, then power generation and recreation last. Once power generation was shut down the reservoir should have been lowered for safety despite what the residents wanted and despite the lake flora/fauna that have now live there unless the spillway was fixed.

Mussels don't like moving water, they likely wouldn't even be in that system en mass if it weren't for the dams/reservoirs.

Michigan DNR/DEQ/EGLE creates rules based on their feelings. They do not review the science, or pay attention to sound science that they do not personally like. This is why water management products sit in their queue for 3+ years. This is why DNR states in a 4wd meeting that live axles on quads should be banned because they 'feel' it displaced much more soil. (heard that one myself 20 years ago). Luckily it didn't happen. This is why they have banned pond dye in the state, they feel a few drops leaking out of an overflow in a rain will kill off aquatic organisms in a ditch that is normally dry or in the river 3 miles away after those drops are diluted beyond any recognition.

I also read that DEQ/EGLE was holding up repair permits, but only one source I read said that.

These people sit in their offices worrying about little things they can power trip on while kicking the big stuff down the road because by the time they are in a position of enough power to do anything they are a few years from retirement and don't want the hassle or fight of the big items.

I'm not defending Boyce either... just to be clear. They knew when they took it over in 04 it needed the repairs. They milked it for a few years and abandoned it hoping to get away from those repairs.
 

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81 inches of fun
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I'm trying to do this from memory, might have timeline slightly wrong.

Boyce got it's license revoked, the lake levels were dropped, four lakes task force (lakefront property owners) pops up, they're pissed the lakes are low. fltf gathers a bunch of people and money, starts purchase agreement for the dams and fights to get the water levels raised back to normal levels.

Imo Boyce is the root cause of this but there's a lot of blame to be spread around.
Water levels were also raised because DEQ said Boyce illegally lowered them winter of 18/19. DEQ sued over freshwater mussel deaths.
 

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81 inches of fun
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https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/michigan/2020/05/20/dangers-edenville-dam-failure-evaded-state-scrutiny/5228559002/?fbclid=IwAR0GWKyhC5t9AwXpjcLcQCUZvLc_teF7wgIKPrra3Pw6q_VAJznrW3Y6lKs

State, owner go to court
In recent weeks, the tension between the state and Mueller mounted as both filed countersuits in state and federal courts over a drawdown of water that the state said was unauthorized and killed mussels in Wixom Lake.

Attorney General Dana Nessel filed suit against Mueller in Ingham County Circuit Court seeking more than $25,000 fines and fees to compensate for the death of thousands of freshwater mussels that occurred when the company “dramatically lowered the level of Wixom Lake for an extended period in 2018 and 2019” via the Edenville Dam without authorization.

Mueller, the suit said, lowered Wixom Lake by 8 feet by opening the gates of the Edenville dam between September 2018 and spring 2019 without authorization from EGLE or the DNR. The drawdown was much larger than the usual 3 feet allowed by federal regulators during the winter and exposed bottomlands that resulted in the “death of thousands, if not millions, of freshwater mussels.”

Nessel’s suit was preceded by a federal suit filed by Mueller on April 29, arguing the state had no “validated scientific or other technical evidence” showing Mueller’s actions directly contributed to the mussels’ deaths.

Mueller argued the $261 million to $412 million lawsuit the state planned to file violated his constitutional liberty and property rights through the “arbitrary, capricious and ‘shock-the-conscience’ conduct" of state officials.

The company began to draw down water while still under federal jurisdiction then continued to do so after to maintain levels over the winter that were safe for workers and protected residents downstream, the lawsuit said. The company monitored mussel exposure during that time, according to the lawsuit.

More: In swing through Michigan, Trump to find records — unemployment, floods and 5,000 COVID deaths

“Boyce acted as a matter of prudent risk management and best practice in preparing for the real possibility that harsh winter weather conditions, like those it experienced in 2017, would again beset the Edenville Dam site in 2018,” the lawsuit said.

The drawdowns were taken to protect folks downstream, the company said Wednesday, but opposed by the attorney general on behalf of mussel habitats and eventually stopped completely by the state in April.

The April push to raise those levels was made despite the state knowing of the dam's "inability to meet even 50% of the PMF standard," the company said in a statement.

At the time FERC first revoked its power-generating license, Boyce Hydro and the Sanford Lake Association appealed, arguing that the move would do nothing to ensure the dam's safety.

In denying their request for a rehearing, FERC responded: "Michigan DEQ has extensive dam safety regulations, including enforcement mechanisms such as the ability to commence a civil action for appropriate relief for violations."

It made no mention of the state's differing standards or the risk they might pose.
 

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I'm not old, honest...
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What a clusterfuck and everybody else suffers. So sad. :(

Wait, am I reading that Boyce tried to do the right thing but Whitmer’s staff denied it?
 

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81 inches of fun
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14,286 Posts
What a clusterfuck and everybody else suffers. So sad. :(

Wait, am I reading that Boyce tried to do the right thing but Whitmer’s staff denied it?
It truly is sad... especially now. Between this and the Flint water DEQ has a lot of crap on their hands.

I am still quite sure the millions spent to change the name from DEQ to EGLE was because Michigan DEQ has been in the news so much for Flint.

This is right after they spent millions renaming twice when they were combined under Stabenow and re-separated under Snyder.
 

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Desert Rat
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The Delta Smelt Paradigm from California happened in Michigan. Instead of drought, it flooded.




"That fight landed the state and Boyce Hydro in state and federal court over the last three weeks. Boyce sued on April 29, charging that it was being unfairly targeted for enforcement. The state later accused Boyce of illegally lowering Wixom's water levels, killing millions of mussels.

"Defendants wrongfully exerted dominion over the freshwater mussels and caused their death, which denies and is inconsistent with the State's rights to them," the Michigan Attorney General's Office wrote in its May 1 lawsuit, requesting that the lake bed be restored and further reductions of lake levels be prohibited."
https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/michigan/2020/05/20/dangers-edenville-dam-failure-evaded-state-scrutiny/5228559002/
 
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