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MIAMI — An amendment to an upcoming defense bill could have a drastic affect on Miami.
Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) has submitted a provision that is up for discussion Thursday that would protect the Grand River Dam Authority from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
The purpose of Sec. 6021 is to clarify federal authorities and responsibilities relating to the Pensacola Dam and reservoir and specifically, the conservation pool and flood pool.
The “conservation pool” means all land and water of Grand Lake below the elevation of 745 feet.
The “flood pool” means all land and water of the lake between 745 feet and 755 feet.
The effect of Inhofe’s amendment would wholly undercut the efforts of the City of Miami to protect its citizens from the repeated flooding that occurs in our community due to Grand Lake being operated at unreasonably high levels, to the benefit of GRDA and the detriment of the citizens of Miami and the surrounding area, Miami mayor Rudy Schultz said.
“This is an outrageous attempt by Sen. Inhofe to put the Grand River Dam Authority above scrutiny by the national agency that regulates energy production — the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission,” Schultz said. “The City of Miami has been fighting for decades to protect its citizens from flooding which is known to be caused by the Pensacola Dam. GRDA has admitted in court it has taken the property of the citizens of Miami. The dam has just entered the FERC relicensing process, which will provide the City, the Miami Tribe, and others in our area with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to urge FERC to revise the dam’s license to dramatically reduce the flooding or require the dam’s owner, the Grand River Dam Authority, to purchase easements from those homeowners and business owners who are regularly flooded.”
Portions of Miami have remained under water for weeks due to flooding and Schultz said Inhofe is now “trying to pull the rug out from under us, essentially denying us our day in court, and a fair determination based on science, not politics.
“It appears keeping reservoir water levels high enough for the million dollar homes on Grand Lake is more important than his flooded constituents in Miami.”