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Grass Valley, CA – The Nevada Irrigation District (NID) will immediately open the security gate installed on the Scotts Flat Spillway so the public can gain access across the dam infrastructure.
During a special meeting on Friday, NID’s Board of Directors also directed that new signage be installed to alert the public about no jumping into the lake from the spillway or loitering.
The Board acknowledged the gate would be closed if ever the US Department of Homeland Security issues an alert of terrorist threat, requiring staff to shut the dam facilities. In that event, NID would notify the public of the closure as soon as it happens via press releases, direct emails, website post, etc.
Additional spillway alterations to address regulatory and public health and safety issues will be discussed during regularly scheduled Water & Hydroelectric Operations Committee and Maintenance and Resources Management Committee meetings. Suggestions, which were introduced during Friday’s meeting, will include:
• Fencing along the top of the spillway running parallel with the eastern and western edges, including adding wingwalls to the northern and southern access points of the spillway. Fencing would be consistent with the current “no-climb” fencing and razor wire
• Camera installation at various locations to allow real-time monitoring of the facility
• Security patrol during high-use periods / summer months.
As background, NID installed fencing and a gate across the top of and along the edge of the Scotts Flat Spillway in August to address regulatory concerns and public safety.
The Scotts Flat facility is subject to regulatory control by both the Department of Safety of Dams (DSOD) and the Federal Energy and regulatory Commission. Recently, the Scotts Flat Spillway was included on DSOD’s priority re-evaluation list, giving additional regulatory analysis to the facility’s security and operational constraints.
All measures being proposed are on an interim basis, while a long-term solution is explored to connect the northern and southern areas of Scotts Flat Reservoir. NID anticipates the spillway will be rebuilt under the direction of DSOD in the future. Moving forward, NID will engage with community members in those efforts.
The Board noted the District’s responsibility to protect its dam and hydroelectric facility and meet federal and state regulatory obligations. Directors also acknowledged the importance of working with the community to allow as much access as possible to NID property for recreation.