Clean Water Action Applauds State Lawsuit Seeking Damages for Dam Failures

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Background: Michigan regulatory agencies filed a lawsuit today seeking compensation, civil fines, and the cleanup and restoration of damages caused by Boyce Hydro’s negligence in the failure of the Edenville and Sanford dams last month.

The following statement can be attributed to Mary Brady-Enerson, Michigan Director, Clean Water Action:

“We applaud the state’s swift action to hold Boyce Hydro accountable for their negligence and mismanagement which tragically resulted in failures of the Edenville and Sanford dams last month. For too long, state regulatory agencies have been trying to hold corporations like Boyce Hydro accountable with one hand tied behind their back. The state needs to have every available tool at their disposal to compel compliance with laws and standards that have been put in place to protect Michigan residents and our environment.

It is our hope that Michigan’s state lawmakers are paying close attention. After the green ooze spill onto I-696 earlier this year, the Revere Dock collapse into the Detroit River, and the failure of these two dams, it is past time for the State Legislature to take up and pass the corporate accountability for our environment package of bills introduced earlier this session. These bills would hold bad corporate actors like Boyce Hydro accountable for the harm that they cause, and would provide a powerful incentive for corporations to do more to prevent pollution. State agencies have been fighting a losing battle for too long – we demand that Senator Shirkey and Speaker Chatfield give them the tools they need to succeed by passing polluter pay and the other corporate accountability bills immediately.”


Since our founding during the campaign to pass the landmark Clean Water Act in 1972, Clean Water Action has worked to win strong health and environmental protections by bringing issue expertise, solution-oriented thinking and people power to the table. Clean Water Action is Michigan’s largest grassroots conservation group with more than 131,000 members across the state. Through direct advocacy and education we organize Michigan residents to protect the Great Lakes and our water resources. Learn more at