Dam Safety Series: Aging Structure

Dams and the Consequences of Time Dam safety concerns of Scott Dam’s aging structure This year Scott Dam turned 100 years old, and as is the case with any century-old infrastructure, there are some concerns about its safety. Cape Horn Dam, 12 miles downstream, is 114 years old. Both were designed during a time when … Read more

Dam Safety Series: Sediment

Restorative Vision for the Upper Eel River

A Much Bigger Problem – More ways poor design impacts dam safety at Scott Dam Decreased water storage, high temperatures, and evapotranspiration cause the sediment that has piled up in steep banks behind Scott Dam to dry out and slough off, threatening to irreparably clog the ‘needle valve’ which is the only way to release … Read more

Is PG&E Concealing Dam Safety Liabilities?

Friends of the Eel River has been evaluating the safety and reliability of Scott Dam for several years now. We continue to have serious concerns about structural integrity and seismic stability, as well as PG&E’s failure to evaluate and disclose such liabilities. Please read our letter below to key elected officials, an attempt to draw … Read more

Ask Governor Newsom to Hold PG&E Accountable

In response to preventable disasters like the 2010 San Bruno pipeline explosion, Pacific Gas and Electric has insisted that they are committed to high safety standards. It’s now a decade, and several other disasters, later and the company has yet to prove that they are following through on their promise to “…remain forever committed to … Read more

New Earthquake Hazards App Shows Fault Line at Scott Dam Location

Bartlett Springs fault runs right through the middle of Lake Pillsbury Reservoir.

A new app from the California Department of Conservation called EQ Zapp identifies earthquake hazard zones based on several types of geologic ground failures. These include fault ruptures, liquefaction of the soil, and earthquake induced landslides. The EQ Zapp shows a startling picture of Lake Pillsbury reservoir with Bartlett Springs fault running right through it. … Read more

Dam Safety and Railroad Bills Move Forward in Sacramento

Stephanie Tidwell, Friends of the Eel River Executive Director, and Scott Greacen, Friends of the Eel River Conservation Director, discuss new and proposed state legislation and how it may effect the Eel River.  California legislators passed SB 92 and AB 1270, both of which provide greater oversight of California dams. AB 1270 requires annual inspections of high … Read more

Catastrophic engineering expert asks: Is Oroville Dam leaking?

One of the country’s foremost experts on catastrophic engineering failures released a new report Thursday on the troubled Oroville Dam that asks a disturbing question: Is the country’s tallest dam leaking? State dam managers have insisted for months that there’s no problem, and that persistent green wet spots near the top left abutment of the … Read more

California Legislature Votes to Keep Dam-Safety Plans Secret

Fresh off the Oroville Dam crisis, California lawmakers on Thursday voted to make dam-safety plans secret through language that was quietly inserted into a budget-related bill. The legislation, which requires Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature before becoming law, says emergency action plans at dams would be kept confidential to “protect public safety.” Assemblyman James Gallagher, R-Yuba … Read more