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Browsing the archives for the Dams other than Klamath category.

Riverbanks collapse after Oroville Dam spillway shut off

Air, Climate & Weather, California Rivers, Dams other than Klamath

Riverbanks collapse after Oroville Dam spillway shut off

San Francisco Chronicle

When state water officials scaled back their mass dumping of water from the damaged Oroville Dam this week, they knew the riverbed below would dry up enough to allow the removal of vast piles of debris from the fractured main spillway.

But they apparently did not anticipate a side effect of their decision to stop feeding the gushing Feather River — a rapid drop in river level that, according to downstream landowners, caused miles of embankment to come crashing down.

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State water officials were warned of Oroville Dam weakness a dozen years ago

Air, Climate & Weather, Dams other than Klamath, State gov

SacBee.com

February 13, 2017 1:06 PM

 As California officials rushed Monday to stabilize conditions at Oroville Dam, the state’s top water official brushed aside questions about recommendations made a dozen years ago to upgrade the emergency spillway that nearly failed Sunday.

In a Monday afternoon news conference near Oroville Dam, Acting Department of Water Resources Director Bill Croyle was asked whether the spillway should have been reinforced years ago as advocacy groups advised in 2005 filings with the federal government.

Croyle said he wasn’t familiar with the reports, but that once the crisis subsided, engineers would do a thorough analysis of what went wrong.

“That’s part of our vetting process,” he said.

The recommendations to strengthen the spillway came as state officials were seeking approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to relicense Oroville Dam for another 50 years.

Advocacy groups including Sacramento-based Friends of the River said at the time that the emergency spillway would actually pose a danger if the reservoir were hit with heavy storm runoff from the Sierra Nevada and filled to the brim.

The groups said the emergency spillway needed to be strengthened to avoid almost precisely the events that occurred this weekend, when the spillway activated and the forested hillside below began eroding dangerously close to the lip of structure.

“As I recall, effectively (the official) response was ‘Well, you know, it doesn’t seem likely we’d ever have to use the emergency spillway,’” Ron Stork, a senior policy advocate at Friends of the River, told The Sacramento Bee.

Stork’s group advocated for the changes along with officials in Yuba and Sutter counties downstream from the dam. At the time, state officials objected to upgrading the spillway, saying it wasn’t necessary.

“Our facilities, including the spillway, are safe during any conceivable flood event,” Raphael Torres, acting deputy director of the State Water Project, told The Bee in 2005.

The spillway issue dates to 1970, when the operational manual for the dam was updated with the expectation that Marysville dam would be built on the Yuba River, a tributary of the Feather. This new dam was authorized by Congress in 1966, but never was built.

Nevertheless, Oroville operations were designed to work in concert with the Marysville dam to ensure Feather River flows would not exceed the holding capacity of downstream levees.

Croyle said Monday that second-guessing decisions of his predecessors may come later.

“We’re going to get into recommendations or concerns that were voiced in the past,” he told reporters Monday. “But right now, we’re focused on maintaining public safety – not strictly during this event, but also this spring runoff period.”

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/state/california/water-and-drought/article132468874.html#storylink=cpy

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Flooding from breached Nevada dam affecting road and rail routes to Utah

Air, Climate & Weather, Dams other than Klamath

PNP comment: This is what happens when a dam is breached — nothin’ but flooding and sediment problems. — Editor Liz Bowen

Deseret News.com

@McKenzieRomero

MONTELLO, Nevada — Flooding from a breached earthen dam continues to plague an Elko County town and has washed out a stretch of highway just past the Utah border.

And as officials get a better look at the scope of the damage, estimates of a fairly quick repair schedule — a week or so — may fall by the wayside.

Nevada law enforcement reported Thursday that days of wet weather in the state had strained the Twentyone Mile Dam in Elko County, causing it to fail on Wednesday. Water from the reservoir went rushing out, flooding the town of Montello and compromising travel by road and rail.

Traffic on state Route 30 in Utah has been stopped at the state line, as a large section of Nevada Route 233 has been washed out about 4 miles from the border.

Boyd Ratliff, assistant district engineer for the Nevada Department of Transportation, said the stretch of highway had been closed as a precaution once water started flowing over it.

“We haven’t seen anything like this in our district in quite some time,” Ratliff said.

A long-haul trucker caught in the flooding, won’t soon forget his ordeal Wednesday night.

Remus Spiridon, a truck driver for S&D transport out of Montreal, Canada, was hauling a load on his way to California, but he ran into trouble on route 233 and was stuck overnight, surrounded by water. He descibed seeing the road begin to break apart near him and water rushing by. He couldn’t turn around.

“I pushed the gas … there was no turning back,” Spiridon said. “I would have been dead.”

He made it through that stretch but had to stop a few miles down the road as the highway was awash with water. He didn’t reach safety until Thursday morning.

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http://deseretnews.com/article/865673016/Flooding-from-breached-Nevada-dam-affecting-road-and-rail-routes-to-Utah.html

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Wheat growers oppose dam breaching during public scoping meeting

Agriculture, Dams other than Klamath

Sean Ellis

Capital Press

Published on December 1, 2016 1:53PM

BOISE — Breaching four dams on the lower Snake River would cause significant harm to the Pacific Northwest agricultural industry, Idaho wheat industry leaders said Nov. 29 during a public meeting.

The meeting is one of 15 being held around the region by federal agencies to get input on the operation of the hydropower dams on the Columbia-Snake River system, a process initiated by a federal judge handling a lawsuit brought by dam removal supporters.

It’s critical that agriculture, especially the wheat industry, makes its concerns known during the public comment period, said Idaho Wheat Commission Executive Director Blaine Jacobson.

“The dams are absolutely crucial to the health of the Idaho wheat industry,” he said. “Wheat is a global market and it’s a very competitive market and if we have to rail it to Portland, it would make a number of the growers uncompetitive on the world market.”

The U.S. district court judge earlier this year ordered the federal agencies that operate the Columbia-Snake River hydropower system to review all reasonable options for operating it in order to minimize the impact on endangered salmon.

That decision came in response to a lawsuit by conservation groups in favor of breaching the dams to improve salmon runs. They challenged the biological opinion for operating the system and the judge required the agencies to update the environmental impact statement on how the system is operated.

The agencies are holding scoping meetings around the Pacific Northwest to gather public comment and a draft environmental impact statement on the system’s operation is expected to be published for public comment in 2020.

Breaching those dams would make the rivers unnavigable for barges that move wheat and other products to port for export.

According to the Port of Lewiston and Northwest River Partners, about 10 percent of all U.S. wheat exports move through the lower Snake River dams and more than 50 percent of Idaho’s wheat is exported through the Columbia-Snake River system.

In addition, more than 42 million tons of commercial cargo valued at more than $20 billion moves through the system each year and 60 percent of the energy produced in Idaho, Oregon, Montana and Washington is generated by the rivers’ dams.

Jacobson said it’s almost inconceivable that the dams would be removed but a vocal minority that supports that is making their voices heard and it’s important the agricultural industry also weigh in on the issue.

“I think the facts are on the side of keeping the (system) the way it is,” he said. “But if the silent majority doesn’t turn out and lets the vocal minority rule the day, then it will be bad for the entire PNW.”

North Idaho farmer Eric Hasselstrom said that without the ability to use the river system to transport wheat to port, his transportation costs would likely double.

“If we lost the dams, I don’t think we’d be competitive and in business any more,” he said. “We have to have our voices heard because there are going to be a lot of comments against (the dams).”

Comments must be received by Jan. 17 and can be submitted by email to: comment@crso.info

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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California: Sites Reservoir backers prepare to seek bond money

Agriculture - California, Air, Climate & Weather, California water, Dams other than Klamath, Water, Resources & Quality

PNP comment:  Finally some movement on this situation! This is where the California Water Bond money should go, not to the destruction of the Klamath dams. — Editor Liz Bowen

Sites Reservoir backers prepare to seek bond money

Capital Press

Backers of the proposed Sites Reservoir west of here believe they have plenty of momentum going into next year’s application period for Proposition 1 water bond funds.

The number of agencies signed on to participate in the project has grown from 14 to 34, including from the San Francisco Bay area and San Joaquin Valley, said Jim Watson, general manager of the Sites Authority. And the Legislature recently passed Assembly Bill 2553, a bipartisan measure that will give flexibility in construction methods to help speed the project.

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Elwha River bridge could need replacement after dam removal

Dams other than Klamath

PNP comment: Removal of the dam on Elwha River has caused a huge amount of environmental damage. This is just the tip of the ice burg. — Editor Liz Bowen

– Associated Press – Thursday, October 20, 2016

PORT ANGELES, Wash. (AP) – The U.S. Highway 101 bridge over the Elwha River could need replacement or retrofitting now that two dams have been removed, allowing the now-wild river to erode the riverbed under the bridge, officials say.

When state Department of Transportation crews drilled bore samples earlier this month, they learned that the bridge’s two piers sit atop gravel – not bedrock, as they had hoped, the Peninsula Daily News reported (https://goo.gl/vaQXwR ).

“We’re keeping a very close eye on it and we have electronic monitoring on it,” said department spokeswoman Claudia Bingham Baker. “It is safe as long as it is open to the public.”

The bridge was built in 1926, after the Glines Canyon and Elwha dams were constructed. With the dams removed as part of a $325 million National Park Service project to restore the Elwha River to its wild state, the state has placed boulders at the base of the piers to stem erosion. But that’s just a short term fix.

The state installed meters that detect movement on each of the piers. Crews will also continue to monitor the condition of the rip-rap around the two piers.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/oct/20/elwha-river-bridge-could-need-replacement-after-da/

 

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Utah: Dam project fills American Fork creek with muck

Dams other than Klamath, Water, Resources & Quality

http://www.sltrib.com/news/4267539-155/dam-project-fills-american-fork-creek

Sediment washed down from Tibble Fork could devastate popular trout fishery.

ARTICLE PHOTO GALLERY (9)

The creek running down American Fork Canyon has become clogged with muck after an upstream reservoir was drained as part of dam rehabilitation project.

The fine-grained sediments turned water black below Tibble Fork Dam, leaving a trail of dead trout and potentially degrading habitat for all sorts of aquatic life, according to observers.

“It would be a surprise if anything could live through this. It is suffocating the fish it is so thick,” said Brian Wimmer, president of a Utah County chapter of Trout Unlimited. “There is 4 inches of this disgusting mud 3 feet above the high water mark. It will take a major flush to bring the life back to this river.”

Go to above article link for the photo:.

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Shasta water release plan has no cutbacks to farmers – for now

Agriculture - California, Air, Climate & Weather, California Rivers, California water, Dams other than Klamath

SacBee.com

June 29, 2016 3:51 PM

Highlights

Decision a victory for Central Valley growers

Federal fisheries officials reverse their stance

Compromise still expected to save Chinook salmon

 After weeks of uncertainty and pressure from members of Congress, federal officials on Wednesday announced a plan for managing water releases from California’s largest reservoir this summer in a manner that will not involve cutbacks in farm water deliveries – at least if all goes as hoped.

For more than a month, federal agencies have battled behind the scenes over how to balance the needs of California farms and two endangered fish species whose populations have been decimated by years of drought and environmental decline.

Federal fisheries officials – who hold considerable sway over how the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation operates Shasta Dam and other federal reservoirs – had been weighing whether to hold back substantial volumes of water at Shasta Lake into the summer to protect juvenile winter-run Chinook salmon. A companion proposal called for letting more water flow to the Pacific Ocean through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta during summer, in hopes of bolstering survival rates for another species teetering on the brink of extinction, the Delta smelt.

Both plans met with forceful opposition from Central Valley farmers, who rely heavily on Shasta water deliveries for irrigation. The proposals would have meant another year of curtailed deliveries during key portions of the growing season.

Instead, the Shasta plan released Wednesday marked a victory for farm interests and a significant about-face for fisheries officials. Rather than the more drastic proposal under discussion, the National Marine Fisheries Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reverted to a model for operating Shasta Dam that stays the course for giving farmers more water deliveries than in recent years.

Agency officials said their compromise plan should still result in ample cool water to keep endangered winter-run Chinook from dying in the Sacramento River. The bureau will be required to closely monitor temperatures in Shasta Lake to ensure that cold-water releases are possible through summer and fall. If they determine that Shasta is too warm, they will cut back releases to ensure there is enough cool water for later in the year.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/state/california/water-and-drought/article86742377.html#emlnl=Morning_Newsletter#storylink=cpy

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Judge: Plan for restoring Northwest salmon runs not enough

CORRUPTION, Courts, Dams other than Klamath, Salmon and fish
 

PNP comment: Looks like the destruction of 4 Klamath dams are not the only dams the Greenies want to destroy. In the Klamath situation, demolishing the 4 hydro-electric dams will only cause huge environmental devastation with 100s of tons of toxic sediment washing down river contaminating the river bed, the water ruining salmon runs for years. — Editor Liz Bowen

GENE JOHNSON

Associated Press

May 4, 2016

SEATTLE (AP) — A massive habitat restoration effort by the U.S. government doesn’t do nearly enough to improve Northwest salmon runs, a federal judge ruled Thursday, handing a major victory to conservationists, anglers and others who hope to someday see four dams on the Snake River breached to make way for the fish.

In a long-running lawsuit, U.S. District Judge Michael H. Simon in Portland, Oregon, rejected the federal government’s latest plan for offsetting the damage that dams in the Columbia River Basin pose to salmon, saying it violates the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policy Act.

It was the fifth time since 2001 that the court has invalidated the government’s plans, and rulings in the case show increasing impatience with federal agencies, including NOAA Fisheries, the Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation. In his 149-page opinion, Simon found that for the past 20 years, the agencies have focused on trying to revive the basin’s 13 endangered and threatened salmon and steelhead runs by restoring habitat without compromising the generation of electricity.

“These efforts have already cost billions of dollars, yet they are failing,” he wrote.

Meanwhile, he said, federal agencies have “done their utmost” to avoid even considering breaching the Snake River dams — despite strong suggestions to do so by Judge James Redden, who oversaw the case from 2001 to 2011.

Among those who sued the government are the Nez Perce Tribe and the state of Oregon; conservation groups including the Sierra Club, National Wildlife Federation, American Rivers and Columbia Riverkeeper; and fishing organizations including the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations.

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In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Hetch Hetchy: Environmental hypocrisy, San Francisco-style

Agriculture - California, Dams other than Klamath, Hypocrisy, Water, Resources & Quality

Manteca Bulletin.com

POSTED April 8, 2016 1:48 a.m.

There is perhaps no smugger environmentalist than  one who resides in San Francisco.
The city is home to the Sierra Club, Save the Redwoods League and boosts some of the country’s strongest concentrations of membership in more radical movements such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals as well as Earth First!
San Francisco intellectuals are noted for attacking Central Valley farmers, Sierra lumbermen and Los Angeles for environmental crimes.
The most enduring symbol of hatred for the San Francisco environmental crowd is dams. They represent everything supposedly evil about modern-day California. They contend the huge concrete structures destroy wild rivers, flood pristine canyons and spur urban growth where it shouldn’t occur.
The San Francisco crowd’s favorite whipping boy is Los Angeles. They detest what Los Angeles has done in the name of water development, specifically with the Owens Valley and Mono Lake. The devastation caused by diverting large amounts of water from the eastern Sierra watershed starting in the 1920s to satisfy LA’s ever growing thirst is routinely described as one of the “biggest environmental disasters of the 20th century.”
It’s a shame San Franciscan environmentalists are such hypocrites. If it wasn’t for the wanton destruction of Hetch Hetchy Valley, San Francisco wouldn’t have had the cheap water needed to grow into a cosmopolitan city at the tip of a peninsula without the local water to support 900,000 residents.
That same exact criticism is leveled at Los Angeles by the Sierra Club crowd. The City of Angeles should never have been allowed to spring up  on land that didn’t have reliable sources of local water to support its growth. The importation of cheap water at the expense of the provinces in the distant Sierra was the only way L.A. could grow.
San Francisco should know. They beat L.A. to the punch. The city destroyed Hetch Hetchy Valley — a place the environmentalists’ icon John Muir described as second only to Yosemite Valley in beauty —   long before the Los Angeles Water Department started stealing water rights in the Owens Valley.
The political maneuvering San Francisco did in Congress to build a dam in a national park in the 1910s was as underhanded as the well-documented deceit that took place in the Owens Valley.
To add insult to injury, San Francisco pays pennies on the dollar for the cost other municipalities pay for water collected and stored in other dams on federal property. The city’s prosperity is essentially subsidized by the rest of the country.
The holier-than-thou stance of most San Francisco environmentalists is a bit too much to stomach given The City destroyed a pristine Sierra canyon to help fuel its prosperity.
San Francisco traces its tremendous growth from an outpost 167 years ago to one of the most cosmopolitan cities the world has ever known to the Gold Rush.
The Gold Rush brought “environmental havoc” to California.
We know this because Earth First! as well as the Sierra Club constantly remind the rest of us — particularly those in the Central Valley — that we are destroying the planet by accommodating urban growth as well as how we are toiling the soil to produce food.
Sierra and North Coast timber interests are routinely slammed for desecrating forests. It is nothing compared to the wholesale cutting that was done to produce lumber for San Francisco. Nor does it begin to compare with the massive amount of earth displaced by gold seekers  who essentially shipped their wealth back to San Francisco.
Environmentalists are absolutely right that we have to balance growth and various practices needed to support civilization such as farming and mining against the need to protect as well as preserve nature.
They are wrong not to hold San Francisco and its suburbs to the same high standards.
It took Central Valley counties two decades to get the Federal Environmental Protection Agency to concede what everyone this side of the Altamont Pass and Carquinez Strait already knew — the San Francisco Bay Area is responsible for a large chunk of our air pollution.
The ocean breezes clear the auto-generated smog as well as pollution from factories into the 360-mile long Central Valley basin where it is trapped by mountains on all sides.
The San Francisco Bay Area was finally held to the same stringent factory output standards as the Central Valley.
Hetch Hetchy — which moves water to San Francisco via the original “tunnel” bypassing the Delta via the pipeline that runs from Yosemite National Park under Modesto and the valley floor to the Bay Area —  doesn’t sacrifice an ounce of its water to help the Delta Smelt.
San Francisco shouldn’t be allowed to obtain highly subsidized Sierra water while being excused from any federal court order or bureaucratic edict requiring everyone else in California to sacrifice water to resolve the Delta-Bay quality issues. 

http://www.mantecabulletin.com/section/1/article/133808/

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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