Category Archives: Hydroelectric (FERC)

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Much of California’s dam and flood infrastructure is obsolete and falling apart.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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CSPA and Friends of the River Defend Clean Water Act and CEQA

CSPA and Friends of the River (FOR) have filed an amicus brief arguing that the procedures of state law are not preempted by federal law in California’s application of the federal Clean Water Act.  The brief argues in favor of … Continue reading

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Major CSPA Victory as State Water Board Acts to Protect Spring-Run Salmon in Butte Creek

On Tuesday, August 2, 2016, the State Water Resources Control Board took an important action to protect the spring-run Chinook salmon in Butte Creek.  Butte Creek contains the only run of spring-run Chinook in the Central Valley that is considered … Continue reading

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Coalition Sets High Bar for Analysis of Proposed Dam

CSPA and allies in the Foothills Water Network submitted 25 pages of comments today on the analysis Nevada Irrigation District (NID) must perform to inform decision making about a proposed new dam on the Bear River. NID’s proposes to build … Continue reading

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CSPA and Allies Defend Butte Creek Protections

Virtually everyone agrees that PG&E’s DeSabla – Centerville Hydroelectric Project on Butte Creek and the West Branch Feather River provides important benefits to salmon. Fortunately, the ten-year-long relicensing of this project is close to completion. In the most recent process … Continue reading

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We Need to Get Salmon Upstream of Central Valley Rim Dams

Since 2006, one of CSPA’s primary areas of effort has been to reintroduce salmon to historic habitat upstream of major Central Valley dams. Today, Central Valley salmon are confined to the valley floor: 5-10% of their historic habitat. In the … Continue reading

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CSPA and allies comment on Draft EIS for Merced River relicensing

CSPA and seven other Conservation Groups filed comments on May 29, 2015 on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the relicensing of the Merced River Hydroelectric Project and the Merced Falls Hydroelectric Project. These relicensings began in 2009. The Federal … Continue reading

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CSPA and very diverse partners working on salmon reintroduction to North Yuba River

The California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, Trout Unlimited and American Rivers, along with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, National Marine Fisheries Service, and Yuba County Water Agency, released a framework on May 7, 2015, that will guide negotiations whose … Continue reading

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