The owner of Coalburg Lake has agreed to draw down the water level to ease pressure on the dam.
This measure will “lessen the risk of catastrophic dam failure until the dam can be brought into compliance,” said Stephanie O’Grady, spokesman for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
The Ohio Attorney General sued Coalburg Land Partners LLC on behalf of ODNR in an effort to address problems with the dam, which include seepage, a non-functioning drain and vegetation growing on the dam and around the spillway.
The dam does not have the capacity to contain a severe flood, ODNR said.
The dam is in Hubbard Township, but creates a lake that extends into Brookfield.
Coalburg Land Partners, of Cleveland, agreed to a preliminary injunction, which was approved by Trumbull County Common Pleas Court Judge Peter J. Kontos on Feb. 22. The injunction calls for drawing down the water level — once the ice has thawed — by one foot a week until the level is two feet below the spillway.
Other aspects of the injunction include photographing the draw-down procedure, monitoring the lake level weekly and during rain storms, preparing an emergency preparedness plan, and removing trees and brush from the dam and around the spillway.
ODNR’s ultimate goal is that the dam be remediated, modified or breached, O’Grady said.
“Now that the state has attained a preliminary injunction order for the interim risk reduction measures to reduce the immediate risk of dam failure, the state will move to the second permanent injunction phase of this dam safety enforcement case – seeking an order setting deadlines for the dam’s owners to perform their chosen remedy to bring the dam into full compliance with Ohio’s dam safety laws,” she said.