CBS » Assembly Bill 1270 calls for closer, more detailed inspections of the Oroville Dam and new protocols, which include taking a deeper dive into the original design of the dam. The author of the bill, Assemblyman James Gallagher, is pushing for more oversight at the Oroville Dam and more in-depth inspections which he says up until now, were superficial.
U.S. News » The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is telling owners of the 1,700 other hydroelectric dams it regulates nationally that it expects them to look equally hard at their own organizations and aging dams, in the wake of the sudden collapse of much of first one, then both spillways last February at the 770-foot-tall (235-meter-tall) Oroville Dam, the nation’s tallest.
The Sacramento Bee » The state got hit with another lawsuit over the Oroville Dam emergency, and this one is enormous. Butte County’s district attorney sued the Department of Water Resources on Wednesday for the environmental damage created by last February’s crisis. In particular, District Attorney Michael Ramsey said DWR should have to pay between $34 billion and $51 billion for the tons of concrete, rock and other debris that fell into the Feather River below the dam.
Oroville Mercury Register » Water has resumed flowing through the Hyatt Powerhouse at the base of Oroville Dam. The releases were shut off about 7 a.m. Wednesday for what was called routine maintenance. A few hours later, a small fire forced evacuation of the hydroelectric power plant, but California Department of Water Resources officials said the incidents were not related and the powerhouse was not damaged.
The Mercury News » While it has been assumed the federal government will pay 75 percent of the now-$870 million cost for repairing the Oroville Dam spillways, the agency that actually would allocate the money has been hedging on whether that is the case. FEMA has stated it can’t fund a project where the agency determines there was a “lack of maintenance,” and can only provide reimbursements to bring facilities back to their “pre-disaster design,” according to the release.
NBC Bay Area » The memo questions whether the seven dams, which are similar in age, design and construction to Oroville Dam, may have, “potential geologic, structural or performance issues that could jeopardize their ability to safely pass a flood event.” All seven dams listed, along with Oroville Dam, are owned and operated by California DWR.