NHA Issues Statement on Central Michigan Dam Breaches
Washington, D.C. (May 20, 2020) – Malcolm Woolf, President and CEO of the National Hydropower Association (NHA), today issued the following statement on the Edenville and Sanford dams breaches in Central Michigan:
“Our hearts go out to Michigan residents affected by the Edenville and Sanford dam breaches. As an industry, dam safety is our top priority. Hydropower facilities are routinely subject to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) inspections and audits by independent third-party dam safety experts. These facilities, which provide power to an estimated 30 million Americans, are continuously monitored for performance, proactively inspected for potential concerns, and subject to extensive emergency preparedness requirements.
“Non-compliance with safety standards is unacceptable. While undoubtedly additional facts will emerge as FERC and other responsible agencies conduct investigations, initial reports indicate that, after years of unsuccessfully directing the owner to modernize the facility to meet federal dam safety standards, FERC revoked the owner’s license to operate in 2018. The hydropower industry supports the necessary actions by FERC to ensure that dams are safe, remain safe, and meet performance expectations particularly during extraordinary flood events such as this one.”