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 FERC to change its policy of not considering dam safety and infrastructure adequacy in relicensing. With the letter, CSPA and its partners filed The Oroville Dam 2017 Spillway Incident and Lessons from the Feather River Basin (“Oroville Report”) which bears on issues raised in the comments.
The comment letter requests that FERC convene a workshop to take input from interested entities regarding the incorporation of dam safety and infrastructure adequacy into the relicensing process, as well as how to address attendant issues relating to Critical Energy Infrastructure Information.
In response to Scoping Document 1 for the Potter Valley relicensing, CSPA, AW, and FOR, together with a number of other Conservation Groups, had commented on the need to include analysis of dam safety, infrastructure issues, and climate change in the Environmental Impact Statement that the Commission will prepare for the relicensing
Subsequently, FERC wrote in Scoping Document 2 that the Commission does not address dam safety and infrastructure adequacy in relicensing. However, the current policy as outlined in Part 12 of FERC regulations failed dramatically at Oroville, despite detailed warnings in relicensing of infrastructure inadequacy more than ten years prior to the 2017 Oroville Spillway events. The comment letter urges changes to the current inadequate policy forthwith.