Category Archives: Hydroelectric (FERC)

Irrigation Districts and Trump Administration Bludgeon Federal Fish Agency into Submission

On October 1, 2018, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service wrote a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) retracting its January 29, 2018 flow recommendations for the lower Tuolumne River (see pp. 65-74).  In its October 1 … Continue reading

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Draft EIS for Yuba River Development Project Omits Key Recommendations to Improve the Lower Yuba River

The California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, as a member of the Foothills Water Network (FWN), submitted 74 pages of comments on July 30, 2018 to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the relicensing … Continue reading

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Tuolumne River Salmon and Steelhead’s Future Under Serious Political Attack

Last week, San Joaquin Valley Republican Congressman Valadao attached an amendment to the appropriations bill for the Department of Commerce that would prohibit the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) from participation in the licensing proceedings of the Don Pedro and … Continue reading

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CSPA Presents at Salmonid Restoration Federation Conference

Chris Shutes, CSPA’s FERC Projects Director and Water Rights Advocate, gave a presentation at the 36th Annual Salmonid Restoration Federation Conference recently held in Eureka, CA.  The SRF Conference is the largest salmon restoration conference in California and brings together … Continue reading

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Conservation Groups Submit Complete Flow Recommendation for Tuolumne River

CSPA and nine other Conservation Groups filed extensive comments and recommendations January 29, 2018 for flow requirements and non-flow measures for the lower Tuolumne River.    The filing is an important milestone in the multi-year licensing process of the Don Pedro … Continue reading

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CSPA Comments on Sites Reservoir Project

CSPA, AquAlliance and the California Water Impact Network submitted comments on January 12, 2018 on the proposed Sites Reservoir Draft Environmental Impact Report/Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIR/DEIS).  The proposed Sites Project would create a $4 billion reservoir outside of Maxwell, … Continue reading

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Potter Valley Project Dam Relicensing – Second Comment Letter Submitted to FERC Urging Dam Safety Considerations

In early November, California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, Friends of the River and American Whitewater filed a comment letter with FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) in response to their Scoping Document 2 for the Potter Valley Project. The letter calls for … Continue reading

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Report on Oroville Describes Urgent Dam Safety and Flood Lessons

Much of California’s dam and flood infrastructure is obsolete and falling apart.  It needs to be fixed now, says a report entitled “The Oroville Dam Spillway Incident and Lessons from the Feather River Basin.”  The authors of report are from … Continue reading

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CSPA and Coalition Recommend Flows and Habitat for Lower Yuba River

In a hundred-plus page filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on August 25, 2017, CSPA and other members of Foothills Water Network coalition filed recommendations for improving flow and habitat conditions in the lower Yuba River.  The filing … Continue reading

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Oroville Dam Relicensing – Letter to FERC Requests Delay in New License

CSPA has joined a broad-based ad hoc coalition of entities in an August 8, 2017 letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that requests a delay in the issuance of a new hydropower license for the Oroville Facilities Project.  … Continue reading

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Potter Valley Project Dam Relicensing Begins

CSPA, along with several other Conservation Groups[1], submitted extensive comments in early August to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in the just-initiated relicensing of two PG&E dams on the mainstem Eel River.  Cape Horn Dam (built 1908) and Scott … Continue reading

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CSPA comments on scoping for relicensing the Potter Valley Hydroelectric Project

CSPA presented oral scoping comments on June 28, 2017 for the relicensing of the Potter Valley Project in Mendocino and Lake counties.  The small 1900’s-era hydroelectric project generates power with water that is piped from the upper mainstem Eel River … Continue reading

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PG&E Completes Recreation Access Site on NF Feather River

On June 13, 2017, PG&E and a group of stakeholders including CSPA dedicated the Rock Creek Bench recreation access and parking area just downstream of Rock Creek Dam on the North Fork Feather River.  The facility will provide safe access … Continue reading

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CSPA Talks Hydropower Relicensing at Water Agency Conference

Chris Shutes, CSPA’s hydropower advocate, gave a presentation about hydropower relicensing at the conference of the Association of California Water Agencies on May 10, 2017, in Monterey.  He appeared as part of a panel that included the relicensing leads for … Continue reading

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CSPA, FOR and Others Request Release of Information and Public Involvement at Oroville

CSPA joined Friends of the River and three other groups in an April 19, 2017 clarification and public process request to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) concerning repairs of the damaged spillway works at Oroville Reservoir.  The letter asks … Continue reading

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Chris Shutes Named “Restorationist of the Year”

The Salmonid Restoration Federation (https://www.calsalmon.org/) named Chris Shutes – me – “Restorationist of the Year” on the concluding day of its 2017 annual conference in Davis.  It is recognition that I did not expect and that I value very greatly. … Continue reading

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180,000 People out of their Homes: Oroville Spillway Was Someone Else’s Problem

In 2005, Ron Stork of Friends of the River warned in a Motion to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that the “ungated, unarmored spillway” at Oroville Dam needed to be made into a real spillway with real concrete.  The … Continue reading

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PG&E Withdraws License Application on Butte Creek: Future of Spring-Run Salmon Uncertain

By Chris Shutes (CSPA) and Dave Steindorf (American Whitewater) In a surprise move, PG&E announced on February 2, 2017 that it was withdrawing its application to relicense the DeSabla – Centerville Hydroelectric Project on Butte Creek and the West Branch … Continue reading

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Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Rebuffs Idaho Power’s Attack on Clean Water Act

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has dismissed a petition by Idaho Power Company that sought to limit the right of states to enforce water quality requirements when FERC relicenses hydropower projects.  In a January 2 post, we described the … Continue reading

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CSPA Defends the Clean Water Act Once Again

One of CSPA’s many strategies in the past several years has been to defend the federal Clean Water Act from attack.  Much of this defense has been in the context the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) relicensing of hydropower projects.  … Continue reading

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