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Public sessions under way for Oroville facilities relicensing

THE DEPARTMENT OF WATER Resources (DWR) of California, US, has conducted two public scoping meetings to help move relicensing of the Oroville Facilities forward (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission project No. 2100).

The meetings were undertaken to provide the public with an understanding of the project and to encourage active participation in the relicensing process. The scoping meetings intended to:

• Identify important environmental and developmental issues related to the proposed project relicensing.

• Identify reasonable alternatives that should be evaluated in the Environmental Assessment.

• Determine the scope and depth of analysis for project purposes and environmental issues identified for evaluation in the Environmental Assessment.

• Identify issues that do not require detailed analysis.

California’s DWR constructed and operates the Oroville Facilities under a 50-year licence issued on 11 February 1957. That licence will expire in January 2007. Under requirements of the Federal Power Act and FERC regulations, DWR is required to file an application for a new licence on or before 31 January 2005.

The Oroville-Thermalito complex is a key water storage and electrical generation facility for the State Water Project (SWP), the largest State-built, multipurpose water project in the US. The complex includes Lake Oroville and Oroville dam, the Edward Hyatt power plant, Thermalito and Thermalito diversion dam power plants, Thermalito forebay and afterbay, Thermalito diversion dam, the Feather river fish hatchery and a fish barrier dam.