California

Feds Undermine Clean Water Act Protections: American River Project Center Stage of National Precedent

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) recently ruled that California does not need to provide water quality certification for the Middle Fork American Hydroelectric Project (Middle Fork Project) in Placer and El Dorado counties, operated by Placer County Water Agency (PCWA).  This order effectively waives California’s authority to ensure water quality and environmental protections for hydropower operations.  Conservationists decried the loss of protection for local rivers and claim the precedent will limit the authority of states to implement and enforce the Clean Water Act nati

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https://www.hydroreform.org/sites/default/files/FERC%20PCWA%20401%20waiver%20press%20release.pdf

PG&E Withdraws License Application On Butte Creek

Source: California Sportfishing Protection Alliance and American Whitewater

By Chris Shutes (CSPA) and Dave Steindorf (American Whitewater)

In a surprise move, PG&E announced on February 2, 2017 that it was withdrawing its application to relicense the DeSabla – Centerville Hydroelectric Project on Butte Creek and the West Branch Feather River.  The reach of Butte Creek affected by the Project is home to the only remaining viable population of spring-run Chinook salmon in California’s Central Valley.

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FERC Issues a New License for Upper American River Project in California

FERC issued a license last week for the Upper American River Project in California consisting of seven developments on the Rubicon River, Silver Creek, and South Fork American River in El Dorado and Sacramento Counties. The license authorizes Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) to continue to operate the existing projects that have a combined capacity of 637.3 MW and to build a new project- the Iowa Hill pumped storage project which has an authorized capacity of 400 MW.

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