WASHINGTON, DC November 6, 2017 – Today, Congressmen John Garamendi (D-CA) and Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) introduced an amendment to require the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to conduct a supplemental environmental review for the Oroville Dam and its related facilities before relicensing the dam. The last environmental review was finished in 2007, and no new one has been made since the spillway suffered significant structural damage earlier this year. Garamendi and LaMalfa represent the communities that were affected by the Oroville Dam’s auxiliary spillway event this February, which forced the evacuation of nearly 200,000 residents of Butte, Sutter, and Yuba Counties. If accepted, the amendment would allow additional time for FERC to review safety and environmental concerns raised by local communities, including sediment accumulation in the Feather River and other potential downstream impacts.
“Both the emergency and auxiliary spillways at the Oroville Dam and have undergone significant structural changes since the last environmental review was completed nearly a decade ago,” said Garamendi. “The safety and environmental impact of the Oroville Dam is clearly an immediate concern for my constituents. After this year’s frightening events, the federal government owes it to local residents and the entire state to conduct a thorough review before issuing a new operating license.”
The amendment is being offered to H.R. 3043, and is expected to be considered this week.