Thursday, April 13, 2017


by Bob Walsh

Probably any number of embarrassing things, but in this case it relates to the Oroville Dam. The Brown administration has moved to block FOIA requests from the media regarding the dam's problems. They are using federal anti-terrorism laws to restrict access to the information.

About 200,000 people were subject to a mandatory evacuation from Oroville and other areas downstream from the dam when it was feared that a catastrophic failure of the emergency spillway was about to occur. Had it happened it would have sent a 30-50 foot wall of water down the Feather River.

Local elected officials, and state elected officials representing the area are appropriately outraged. They believe (rightly) that the terrorism angle is bullshit and the Brown administration is merely hiding it's own ineptitude. These denials of information began after the media got information from a state-hired consultant team. This group expressed considerable doubt as to the state's ability to get the emergency repairs completed in the time frame available, which is before November 1. This report also detailed some design flaws that may have led to the gross structural failure of the primary spillway.

Bill Croyle, Acting Director of the Dept. of Water Resources, says the report should not have been made public. Croyle has also said the state is working with the Butte County Sheriff's Office to keep the information secret, because the designs the reports reveal are "sensitive."

Croyle says the repair design plans are still being worked on and they hope to have them finalized and out for bid by Monday. I wonder how they will put them out for bid if the design parameters are secret? It should be interesting.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Concrete and rebar. Big secret?