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State hires additional dam inspector following collapse of Sanford and Edenville dams

Fats Superhead

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy announced on Thursday it has hired an additional dam inspector.

The hire comes after the failure of the Edenville and Sanford dams.

Before hiring a third inspector just two people were in charge of inspecting the safety of over one thousand state-regulated dams.

Nick Assendelft is with EGLE. He said the hire reflects an acknowledgment that there is a huge workload for the Dam Safety Program.

“You always want to have more money you always want to have more staffing. We thought this was a good time to put out the call and see if we could beef up our staff.”

Assendelft said the increased focus on the program gave the department an opportunity to add an additional staff member.

“I don’t want to diminish at all the work that folks on staff are doing. We just think the numbers make sense to add one more person to the team and make sure we can move this dam safety program forward.”

There are currently two ongoing evaluations of the state’s dam safety program aimed at identifying enforcement reforms and improvements that can be made.

EGLE has also announced a team of six experts to investigate contributing factors that led to the collapse of the Edenville and Sanford dams.