Category Archives: Hydroelectric (FERC)

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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CSPA supports cold water for NF Feather River and protections for Lake Almanor

CSPA and American Whitewater (AW) filed joint comments March 26, 2015 on the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the Water Quality Certification for relicensing of the Upper North Fork Feather Project. The State Water Resources Control Board issued the … Continue reading

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CSPA and Colleagues Push Back on FERC’s Yuba Analysis

CSPA, as part of the Foothills Water Network coalition, filed comments on February 9 on the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the relicensing of the Yuba-Bear and Drum-Spaulding hydroelectric projects, located in Placer and Nevada counties. CSPA first engaged … Continue reading

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Irrigation Districts Agree to Study Tuolumne River Fish Passage

Modesto Irrigation District and Turlock Irrigation District, owners and operators of the La Grange and Don Pedro hydroelectric projects on the Tuolumne River, agreed November 21 to conduct studies related to passing salmon and steelhead past both projects. The Districts … Continue reading

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San Francisco Can Do Better Than Just Say No to Tuolumne Flow

Since 2009, representatives of the City and County of San Francisco have consistently advocated against flow increases in the lower Tuolumne River. In proceedings before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the State Water Board, San Francisco’s advocates have argued … Continue reading

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CSPA Works to Make Delta Flow Work

The 2010 Delta Flow Criteria Report announced findings by the State Water Board that additional flow into and out of the Delta was needed to restore fisheries. The Report stated: “In order to preserve the attributes of a natural variable … Continue reading

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CSPA Proposes High Spring Flows in Merced River

CSPA and a coalition of environmental and fishing groups filed extensive comments and recommendations on July 22 in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s relicensing of the Merced River Project on the Merced River. The filing makes recommendations for flows in … Continue reading

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CSPA and Allies Propose Tuolumne Fish Passage Studies

CSPA and a coalition of environmental and fishing groups filed comments July 22 on scoping for the licensing of La Grange Dam and Powerhouse on the Tuolumne River. The Conservation Groups on the filing also submitted study requests asking that … Continue reading

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CSPA Asks FERC for Tuolumne Fish Passage Studies

The hydropower licensing of the La Grange Project on the Tuolumne River has begun. The licensing was ordered by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) after the Conservation Groups including CSPA and the National Marine Fisheries Service submitted evidence that … Continue reading

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CSPA and Coalition Comment on Draft Yuba River Application

CSPA and allied conservation groups in the Foothills Water Network have filed comments in the relicensing of the Yuba River Development Project.  Yuba County Water Agency’s (YCWA) project is currently in the relicensing process with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. … Continue reading

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