News & Analysis as of

Dams

Potential Remedy for Addicks & Barker Reservoir Release Victims

by Strasburger & Price, LLP on

On August 25, 2017, Hurricane Harvey made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane, settling in the lower Texas gulf coast and inundating southeast Texas with almost 50 inches of water over a four-day period. The storm caused...more

RC Byrd hydro project licensed at Army Corps locks and dam

by PretiFlaherty on

Federal hydropower regulators have issued an original license to an Ohio city to construct, operate, and maintain a 50-megawatt hydroelectric project at an existing U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lock and dam site. If developed...more

Energy Department funds for new hydropower at existing dams

by PretiFlaherty on

The U.S. Department of Energy has $6.6 million available for the latest round of funding under a program supporting projects adding hydroelectric power generating capabilities to existing dams and impoundments. Applications...more

Forest City Dam petition for declaratory order

by PretiFlaherty on

The owner of a dam and reservoir spanning the East Branch of the St. Croix River on the international boundary between the United States and Canada has applied to federal regulators for a ruling that the project will no...more

FERC issues license for Monongahela Locks and Dam 4 project

by PretiFlaherty on

U.S. hydropower regulators have issued an original license for a proposed 12-megawatt hydropower project, to be located at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Monongahela Locks and Dam 4 facility on the Monongahela River, in...more

Forest City dam, Maine legislation, and FERC surrender

by PretiFlaherty on

Maine Governor Paul LePage has proposed legislation that would authorize the state to take over ownership of a dam and water storage project on the U.S.-Canada border. As initially printed on June 1, 2017, LD 1626 would be...more

Ninth Circuit Expands Tribal Treaty Rights in Culvert Decision That Threatens Economic and Industrial Development on Fish-Bearing...

by Stoel Rives LLP on

In the matter of United States et al. v. Washington, case number 13-35474, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit concluded in 2016 that in building and maintaining barrier culverts, the State of Washington had...more

Licensee seeks West Branch and Sysladobsis Dam amendment

by PretiFlaherty on

A Maine dam owner has applied to federal regulators seeking to exclude from its hydropower license one of two dam-based developments which comprise the project. At issue is the January 31, 2017 application of Woodland Pulp...more

Fate of U.S. - Canada dam license in question

by PretiFlaherty on

The holder of the U.S. federal hydropower license for a dam spanning the international border with Canada border has petitioned for approval to surrender that license, citing economic considerations. At issue is the Forest...more

A potpourri of Northern California news, including the latest on Lake Oroville

by Downey Brand LLP on

Good day! Today we feature a series of little squibs of what has been happening in the past two weeks. All of the information below is confirmed, and all of it is notated with additional context. But we did want to share with...more

A Scary Dam Cat

by Zelle LLP on

The February 12, 2017 emergency evacuation of nearly 200,000 California residents living in and around the town of Oroville, downstream from the Oroville Dam, was a stunning reminder of the ironic danger created by major...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - February 2017 #4

by Allen Matkins on

Environmental and Policy Focus - Governor Brown wants to spend nearly $450 million on flood control following dam emergency - Sacramento Bee - Feb 24 - After successfully appealing to the Trump...more

Who Would Face Liability For Oroville Dam Management?

On Feb. 12, 2017, the Butte County, California, sheriff ordered the evacuation of more than 180,000 people in the communities surrounding California’s Oroville Dam after officials spotted severe erosion in the dam’s emergency...more

Managing Water Releases From Dams to Protect Fish: A Tale of Good Legislation and Bad Engineering

Earlier this week, the 9th Circuit found that the Bureau of Reclamation had authority under 1955 legislation to order additional releases of water to the Trinity River from the Lewiston Dam beyond the amount designated in an...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - February 2017 #3

by Allen Matkins on

Environmental and Policy Focus - Scott Pruitt confirmed to lead EPA - Los Angeles Times - Feb 17 - President Donald Trump’s nominee to run the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a climate-change...more

Oroville Dam evacuation and relicensing

by PretiFlaherty on

A California dam in the midst of a federal relicensing process has experienced flooding and storm-related damage, prompting the evacuation of over 180,000 people. Evacuation orders and a reservoir drawdown represent the most...more

EPA FAQ on dam removal projects

by PretiFlaherty on

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released a document answering "Frequently Asked Questions" about the removal of obsolete dams. As noted by EPA, dams "provide important societal functions for drinking water...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - December 2016 #3

by Allen Matkins on

Environmental and Policy Focus - Trump picks Perry for top U.S. energy job - Reuters - Dec 15 - President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday named former Texas Governor Rick Perry to head the U.S. Department...more

Adding micro-hydro to licensed hydropower project

by PretiFlaherty on

What happens when a FERC hydropower licensee applies for a preliminary permit to study the feasibility of developing a micro-hydro project, where the new project will be sited at an existing project's dam? In a recent case...more

Stop the Presses: Nuclear Power Still Does Not Emit Greenhouse Gases

On Monday, the TVA announced that Watts Bar Unit 2 had successfully completed what is known as its final power ascension test. It is now producing 1,150 MW of power in pre-commercial operation. Though EnergyWire did report...more

Renewable Energy Update - September 2016 #5

by Allen Matkins on

Renewable Energy Focus - California ramps up energy storage plans with enactment of four new bills - Renewable Energy World - Sep 28 - California Governor Jerry Brown on September 27 signed four new bills...more

Dam Safety Ad Hoc Committee Update - Public Policy Alert from the South Carolina State House

by Nexsen Pruet, PLLC on

David Wilson from the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) addressed the Dam Safety Ad Hoc Committee to give members an update on the current status of dams across South Carolina. He informed the Committee...more

Federal dams, nonfederal hydro, and preliminary permits

by PretiFlaherty on

Can a hydropower developer obtain a preliminary permit from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for a project to be located at a federal dam, where the federal entity owning the dam says it opposes the project? In a...more

New Jersey FERC license surrender and dam removal

by PretiFlaherty on

U.S. energy regulators have accepted an application to surrender the licensee for a New Jersey hydropower project. Earlier this month, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission accepted Great Bear Hydropower Inc.'s...more

Massachusetts Legislature Passes Compromise Energy Bill

Last Sunday, the Massachusetts Legislature passed a compromise energy bill to significantly increase electricity produced by renewable energy sources. The state’s utilities will be required to purchase power from on and...more

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