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LaMalfa Weighs In On Oroville Dam Relicensing

Northstate Congressman Doug LaMalfa is asking federal officials not to rubber stamp the relicensing of Oroville Dam. The dam is a state facility that runs under a federal license issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Just as the 50 year license was coming up for renewal, the dam experienced a failure of its primary spillway and a near failure of its auxiliary spillway, prompting the evacuation of nearly 200,000 people downriver. Though this was likely seen by the State Department of Water Resources as really poor timing, LaMalfa is citing it as justification to demand more analysis and transparency before the dam is licensed to continue operating for another 50 years. He’s asking the chairman of FERC to wait until the final forensic report is delivered and fully processed by FERC, and resulting instructions are issued to the dam operators. He also wants to demand adequate compensation for Oroville and Butte County for the services they provide, including law enforcement and rescue operations on Lake Oroville. Finally, he wants analysis and possibly upgrades to the recreational potential of the lake. LaMalfa’s family owns a rice farm downriver from Oroville Dam.