The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality continues to investigate what caused the breach. The investigation appears focused on the failure of a device known as a dewatering structure that was supposed to allow for the slow draining of Brown Bridge pond into the Boardman. Instead, most of the pond rushed into the river in a matter of hours.
A copy of Bifoss' letter to AMEC representatives notes the contract indemnifies the implementation team "from and against claims, liabilities, losses, direct damages, reasonable attorney fees and settlement expenses" arising from bodily injury, death, and damage to or loss of property.
Houle said riverbank testing near the Reneaud and Hoyt properties revealed soil contaminated by arsenic, mercury, manganese and selenium. The implementation team has outlined a plan for state officials to cure any damages to the river.