Category Archives: Hydroelectric (FERC)

Court Ruling Finds FERC 401 Waiver Not Justified – Important Implications for California Hydropower Project Licenses

On July 2, 2021, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals issued an important decision regarding Section 401 of the Clean Water Act, overturning an Order by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).  FERC’s Order had found that the state … Continue reading

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CSPA and Allies Oppose Proposed SFPUC General Manager and City of San Francisco’s Lawsuit Against State Water Board

CSPA has joined a letter opposing the prospective appointment of San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera as the new General Manager of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC).  The SFPUC is the water supply agency for the City of … Continue reading

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CSPA Comments on FERC’s Additional Information Request for Merced Irrigation District’s Hydro Projects

CSPA and several allied conservation groups[1] filed comments on April 1, 2021 responding to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) staff’s February 19, 2021 Additional Information Request (AIR) for the Merced River Hydroelectric Project and the Merced Falls Hydroelectric Project (collectively, … Continue reading

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CSPA Urges Changes at San Francisco Public Utilities Commission

CSPA joined with 26 other fishing and environmental groups and businesses in a March 9, 2021 joint letter that urges hiring a progressive, experienced outside general manager for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC or Commission).  The SFPUC is … Continue reading

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CSPA Defends Cold Water for North Fork Feather River & Lake Almanor

By Cindy Charles The California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA) and American Whitewater (AW) submitted comments to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on January 5, 2021 in support of two “must-have” license conditions for the Upper North Fork Feather Hydroelectric … Continue reading

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FERC Denies Waiver of Clean Water Act for Tuolumne River Hydropower Projects

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has denied a petition to waive water quality certification for the Don Pedro and La Grange Hydroelectric Projects on the Tuolumne River.  The January 19, 2021 denial is a rebuke to Turlock Irrigation District and … Continue reading

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The State of California’s Executive Branch Needs to Close the Books on Negotiations of “Voluntary Agreements” with Water Agencies and Irrigation Districts that Attack the Authority of the State Water Board and Foundational Environmental Law

Summary Both Yuba Water Agency (YWA) and the Turlock and Modesto Irrigation Districts (Districts) allege that the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) has unlawfully delayed decisions concerning their respective hydroelectric projects.  Both YWA and the Districts have … Continue reading

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CSPA Opposes Turlock and Modesto Irrigation Districts’ Petition for Waiver of Clean Water Act

Joining a growing list, Turlock and Modesto Irrigation Districts (Districts) filed a Petition for Declaratory Order with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) on October 2, 2020 asking that the Commission find that the State of California has … Continue reading

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CSPA Asks San Francisco Water Agency to Withdraw Voluntary Agreement

CSPA and thirteen other conservation and fishing organizations wrote a letter to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission on September 9, 2020 requesting that the Commission withdraw its support for a proposed Tuolumne River Voluntary Agreement.  CSPA and others also … Continue reading

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CSPA Sues FERC over Waiver of Clean Water Act

CSPA and three other non-profit groups have sued the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in the Federal Appeals Court 9th Circuit in defense of the State of California’s authority to protect the Yuba and Bear Rivers.  The lawsuit is the … Continue reading

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Assemblymember’s Trojan Horse Hides Real Need for Section 401 Trailer Bill

It’s a pretty sweet deal when you don’t do your homework for five years and then get the principal to say you don’t have to do it at all, and, by the way, we’re retroactively giving you an “A” in … Continue reading

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CSPA Defends Cold Water for North Fork Feather River Trout

CSPA and American Whitewater (AW) have defended proposed measures to keep summer water temperatures in the North Fork Feather River cold enough for trout.  The defense came in comments to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in opposition to a … Continue reading

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CSPA and Coalition Oppose Waiver of Clean Water Act

CSPA and allies in the Foothills Water Network have filed a Response in Opposition to Yuba Water Agency’s Request for Waiver of water quality certification for the Yuba River Development Project.  The Network filed its letter with the Federal Energy … Continue reading

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Hydropower Reform Coalition Opposes Weakening of Federal Environmental Review

The Hydropower Reform Coalition submitted comments on March 10, 2020 in opposition to proposed changes to the implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).  The Coalition’s comments state that the proposed new NEPA rule would make analysis worse and … Continue reading

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Salmonid Restoration Federation Conference Postponed Indefinitely

One of California’s premier annual gatherings of fisheries restorationists, scientists and advocates has been postponed indefinitely in order to protect public health.  The conference of the Salmonid Restoration Federation (SRF)[1] planned for March 31-April 3 in Santa Cruz will not … Continue reading

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CSPA and Tuolumne advocates answer San Francisco on water supply

CSPA, the Tuolumne River Trust, Golden West Women Flyfishers and two unaffiliated Bay Area advocates (“TRT et al.”) continue to make the case that the City of San Francisco and its wholesale agency can both protect their water supply and … Continue reading

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Hydropower Reform Coalition Opposes Another Trump Administration Attack on the Clean Water Act

The Hydropower Reform Coalition (HRC), including CSPA and allied hydropower advocates, has submitted extensive comments in opposition to the Trump Administration’s attack on Section 401 of the Clean Water Act.  Trump’s Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a … Continue reading

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CSPA and Allied Groups Dissect Draft EIS for Don Pedro

CSPA, nine other conservation and fishing groups, and four whitewater outfitters (“Conservation Groups”) jointly submitted 75 pages of comments on April 12, 2019 on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the relicensing of the Don Pedro Hydroelectric Project and … Continue reading

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Federal Dam Safety Regulators Describe Need for Big Changes at Oroville Dam

The Division of Dam Safety and Inspections in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a letter to the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) on October 25, 2018 that requires DWR to reclassify the emergency spillway at Oroville Dam as … Continue reading

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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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