Category Archives: Environment

Dying Nuclear Industry Poses Technological and Financial Risks for USA | May 14, 2017

Settlement talks possible in San Onofre lawsuit

|| San Diego Reader

A view from the San Diego county side of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. Photo By Ana Venegas, The Orange County Register.
Even Edison wonders if nuclear waste should be buried near ocean

“There could be settlement talks in a lawsuit protesting the proposed burial of San Onofre nuclear waste 100 feet from the ocean near the shuttered San Onofre nuclear plant.

San Diego-based Citizens Oversight sued the Coastal Commission for giving permission for burial of 3.6 million pounds of spent nuclear fuel 100 feet from the Pacific Ocean and inches above the high water mark. Among many things, global warming could move the ocean inland and an earthquake could cause havoc, argues Ray Lutz, head of Citizens Oversight.

The idea “is insane,” says Lutz.

San Diego attorneys Mike Aguirre and Maria Severson, who represent Citizens Oversight, called the proposal “an absurd plan” in a filing in the case last year.

Southern California Edison, majority owner of the now-shuttered San Onofre nuclear plant, along with Aguirre and Severson, today (April 7) asked a Superior Court judge to postpone a hearing in the case April 14 so that there can be settlement discussions.

“We believe the parties in the case and many community leaders share a common goal to transfer San Onofre’s used nuclear fuel off-site as soon as reasonably possible,” said Tom Palmisano, Edison vice president and chief nuclear officer. “We are hopeful that settlement discussions will permit the parties to reach a mutually agreeable solution.”

This is a matter of strange bedfellows. Aguirre and Severson have been battling Edison for years. The two lawyers traced the secret cooperation of Edison and the state utilities commission in coming up with a plan to get ratepayers to shell out money for the closing of San Onofre.

In a case now at the appellate level, Aguirre and Severson argue that the plan to soak ratepayers was a violation of the Fifth Amendment. They say that Edison and the commission concocted a scheme forcing consumers to pay for electricity that they are not getting. That violates the concept of “just compensation,” the San Diego lawyers argue.”

….Continue reading more @ San Diego Reader

 

 

More Public Speakers from the San Onofre Community Engagement Panel in Laguna Hills

|| Youtube

…Ray Lutz and Torgen Johnson address the San Onofre CEP, Thursday May 11, 2017.

 

 

What the San Onofre Shutdown Means – Victory Press Conference & Interviews

|| Youtube

 

The San Onofre Nuclear Waste Threat, Explained

|| WorldSurfLeague

“For the past 30 years the state park and its surrounding areas have been fiercely guarded by environmentalists, and for good reason. It’s the last piece of accessible open space along the Southern California coast. Located on the border of Orange and San Diego counties, these popular surf spots have been prized destinations since the early 1930s, long before the arrival of Camp Pendleton or the San Onofre Nuclear Power Generating Station (SONGS). While surfers had zero political power in the pre-park era, in mid-2008, the Surfrider Foundation led a coalition of environmental groups that rallied successfully to prevent a controversial toll road from cutting through both the park and the delicate San Mateo watershed. The battle continued until late last year, when a $28 million settlement was reached between the Transportation Corridor Agency, and a collection of environmental agencies and the attorney general’s office of California.

The groups declared victory with headlines like “Trestles Saved Forever!”. But a far larger threat looms, and it hasn’t received anywhere near the amount of attention it deserves from those organizations.”

….Continue reading more @ WorldSurfLeague

 

Gov’t Report: US Nuclear Reactors Face ‘Doom And Gloom’ Scenario

|| Daily Caller

“America’s fleet of nuclear reactors is rapidly aging, posing a serious problem for the country, according to a Friday report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA.)

EIA’s report notes that nearly all nuclear plants in the U.S. started operating between 1970 and 1990. This means they’re aging fast and will need to renew their original 40-year operating licenses before 2050. Most of these reactors are only designed to function for a maximum of 60 years and the U.S. isn’t building new ones fast enough.

“The U.S. nuclear energy fleet and American global market leadership is clearly at cliff’s edge without new capacity given the current trajectory of premature plant closings and likely licensing-related plant retirements.,” David Blee, executive director of the U.S. Nuclear Infrastructure Council (NIC), told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

EIA’s report estimates that 25 percent of currently operating U.S. nuclear electrical generating capacity will be forced to retire by 2050.

Nuclear power currently accounts for about 20 percent of all electricity generated in the U.S. and the country generated more nuclear energy than any other. This, however, is changing fast.

China is building 20 new nuclear reactors while South Korea alone has five more under construction. Meanwhile, only four reactors are under construction in the U.S. That’s barely enough to replace older reactors going out of service. More than half of the world’s nuclear reactors under construction are in Asia with the majority of those in China, according to Seeker.”

….Continue reading more @ Daily Caller

San Onofre Panel Hears from the California Public | May 12, 2017

New Mexico group makes its pitch to store San Onofre’s nuclear waste

|| Union-Tribune San Diego

“In the search for finding a place to move the 3.55 million pounds of nuclear waste from the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS), one question always comes up: Sure, it would be great to send all that spent fuel as far away from the beach as possible, but who would ever be willing to accept it?

On Thursday night, those attending the quarterly meeting of the SONGS Community Engagement Panel heard directly from representatives from a private entity looking to do just that.

One person’s waste is another person’s most valuable possession,” said John Heaton, who is leading a group called the Eddy-Lea Energy Alliance that wants to build a massive nuclear storage facility in the desert of southeast New Mexico.

“We think it’s an important project for us in terms of jobs and capital investment in our part of the state,” said Heaton during a break in Thursday night’s meeting in Laguna Hills.

The facility has yet to be built but its ambitions are big. The New Mexico group has partnered with Holtec International, an energy company with extensive experience in the nuclear storage industry, to build a facility that would hold roughly 120,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel.

To put that figure in perspective, the now-suspended Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository in Nevada was legislatively directed to accept 70,000 metric tons. And the total waste from nuclear plants across the country is estimated at 78,590 metric tons.

Last month, Holtec filed an application with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to get the facility licensed, part of a series of bureaucratic hurdles that need to be cleared for the site to become a reality.

Pierre Oneid, senior vice president and chief nuclear officer at Holtec, said after Thursday’s meeting the entire process could move at a much faster rate than typical government-approved projects.

“We would commence construction immediately” once the project gets the OK, Oneid said. “We could be ready, if all the stars are aligned, by 2022.”

However, even if such a facility were built, it does not mean that waste at SONGS would be at the front of the line.

Spent fuel has been piling up for decades at nuclear plants across the country. The U.S. Department of Energy will determine the order of waste shipments but it is unclear how the agency will implement its policy when the time comes.

Another potential site for what’s called “consolidated interim storage” facilities, which are designed to house at least part of the waste accumulated at nuclear plants across the country, is in West Texas, not far from the proposed New Mexico facility.

Located outside of Andrews, Texas, the facility would be run by a company called Waste Control Specialists and could store about 5,000 metric tons of waste but with a footprint of 14,000 acres the site could be expanded. Like the New Mexico site, the company has filed a license application with the federal government.

Officials at Waste Control Specialists were invited to take part in Thursday’s meeting but David Victor, the Community Engagement Panel chairman, said the company is involved in a complex mergers and acquisitions process and postponed an appearance.

In attendance was Karen Hadden, the executive director of the SEED Coalition, an environmental group in Austin, Texas, who spoke out against both sites.

“Most people (in Texas and New Mexico) either don’t know what’s going on or the people on the street would tell you, no they don’t want it,” said Hadden, who flew in to attend the meeting. “When people do learn what’s happening they are alarmed and they want to take action to stop it.”

Another nuclear storage site in New Mexico — unaffiliated with the proposed Eddy-Lea facility — recently reopened after a radiation leak in 2014. The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) was shut down for almost three years after a waste drum of plutonium-contaminated debris ruptured.

WIPP does not take waste from nuclear power plants. Rather, it is the nation’s only repository for the disposal of transuranic waste from the nation’s network of nuclear weapons labs and development facilities.

“Things go wrong,” said Gary Headrick, co-founder of the advocacy group San Clemente Green, during the public comment period. “Things went wrong at WIPP … We gotta get this right.”

Thursday night’s meeting comes as discussion is heating up over nuclear waste. .

Edison officials are talking to representatives of Citizens Oversight, an East County-based civic group whose attorney, Michael Aguirre, has proposed moving SONGS waste to the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station in Arizona, located about 50 miles from Phoenix. .

In Washington D.C., Rep. John Shimkus, R-Illinois, has a draft bill in the U.S. House of Representatives that aims to clear the way to return funding to Yucca Mountain and Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista, has introduced legislation to pave the way for consolidated interim storage sites.

The Trump administration, in a budget blueprint released in March, called for the Department of Energy to receive $120 million to start looking at possible solutions, specifically interim storage site and possibly resurrecting Yucca.”

….Continue reading more @ U-T San Diego

 

Some Video from the Public Comment Section Tonight in Laguna Hills about burying the Nuclear Waste on the Beach in San Onofre

|| Youtube | San Onofre CEP

“My generation has to clean up what your generation leaves…”

Questions on evacuation procedure in the event of an accident at San Onofre:

Questions on earthquake safety:

Questions on storage cannisters and earthquakes:

…More video @ Youtube

 

 

San Onofre Community Engagement Panel to Discuss Off-Site Used Fuel Storage

|| Youtube

“The San Onofre Community Engagement Panel (CEP) will discuss off-site storage of used nuclear fuel during its quarterly meeting May 11 in Laguna Hills. The CEP advises the owners of the retired San Onofre nuclear plant on decommissioning.

The meeting will include updates on proposed interim storage sites in Texas and New Mexico designed to accept used nuclear fuel from sites such as San Onofre. In addition, two U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials from the agency’s Washington, D.C. and Region IV offices will review federal oversight of decommissioning at San Onofre.

Tom Palmisano, vice president and chief nuclear officer for Southern California Edison, the decommissioning agent on behalf of the San Onofre owners, will provide an update on preparations to decommission the plant.

The regular quarterly meeting will be from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the Laguna Hills Community Center, 25555 Alicia Parkway, Laguna Hills. Staffed information booths will be open from 4:30-5:30 p.m. There will be a public comment period and the meeting will be live-streamed via songscommunity.com.

SCE announced in June 2013 that it would retire San Onofre Units 2 and 3, and had begun the process to decommission the facility. SCE has established core principles of safety, stewardship and engagement to guide decommissioning.”

…Continue @ https://www.songscommunity.com/

Arctic Cooling Absorbs 230 times warming from Methane | May 8, 2017

Scientists Found A ‘Totally Unexpected’ Source Of Climate Cooling

|| Daily Caller

“Arctic waters absorbed vast amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, creating a cooling effect that’s 230 times greater than the warming from methane emitted from underwater seeps, according to a new study.

The findings are a complete reversal of what scientists previously believed — that methane seeps in the Arctic Ocean were contributing to global warming.

“If what we observed near Svalbard occurs more broadly at similar locations around the world, it could mean that methane seeps have a net cooling effect on climate, not a warming effect as we previously thought,” John Pohlman, a U.S. Geological Survey biochemist and lead author of the study, said in a statement Monday.

If the results hold, Pohlman’s study could have big implications for how scientists calculate the global carbon “budget” and for future projections of global warming.

“This is … totally unexpected,” Brett Thornton, a Swedish geochemist who was not involved in the study, told Science Magazine.

A group of U.S., German and Norwegian scientists measured methane and carbon dioxide concentrations off Svalbard’s coast. They found 2,000 times more carbon dioxide was taken out of the atmosphere than methane escaping from underwater vents.

Methane escaping margin seeps at depths of 260 to 295 feet appeared to stimulate marine phytoplankton, which may have increased their intake of carbon dioxide. The study “suggests physical mechanisms that transport methane to the surface may also transport nutrient-enriched water that supports enhanced primary production and CO2 drawdown.”

“These findings challenge the widely held perception that areas characterized by shallow-water methane seeps and/or strongly elevated sea−air methane flux always increase the global atmospheric greenhouse gas burden,” reads the study’s executive summary.

Pohlman cautioned the “cooling effect” of the seeps may be limited to certain times of the year, but he and his team were astounded to find such low amounts of methane above the seeps.

“These areas of methane seepage may be net greenhouse gas sinks,” reads a summary of the work.

Methane is a more potent gas than carbon dioxide, and scientists have become increasingly worried about “methane bomb” from thawing permafrost and warming oceans. Methane hydrates from the ocean floor “a key cause of the global warming that led to one of the largest extinctions in the earth’s history,” Ryo Matsumoto, a University of Tokyo professor, said in 2008.

Scientists worry a huge release of methane from the sea floor could cause massive amounts of warming. One 2016 study warned “the release of methane from hydrate may be apocalyptic.”

But Pohlman’s research suggests there’s a lot more to learn about methane seeps and their role in global greenhouse gas inventories.

Pohlman’s study was the first to observe this in methane-rich waters, but the implications for climate science could be big if results can be replicated at other methane seeps.

“We are looking forward to testing the hypothesis that shallow-water methane seeps are net greenhouse gas sinks in other locations,” Pohlman said.”

….Continue reading more @ DailyCaller

Sanctuary Cities for Criminals | Feb 25, 2017

Santa Cruz police chief, feds in immigration probe spat | Apologizes for cooperating with federal govt

– Yahoo News

“SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A California police chief and a mayor accused federal agents Thursday of duping local officers assisting in the takedown of suspected members of a notorious El Salvador-based gang into helping make immigration arrests.

Santa Cruz is a so-called sanctuary city, which prohibits its police from cooperating with federal authorities investigating immigration violations.

Santa Cruz Police Chief Kevin Vogel and assistant chief Dan Flippo said Thursday that Department of Homeland Security officials lied when they assured them a Feb. 13 joint operation in the region would not include immigration-related arrests during the gang raids. Flippo said he learned a “number” of immigration arrests were made the next night when dozens of protesters disrupted a Santa Cruz City Council meeting to voice their displeasure.

But James Schwab, a spokesman for the San Francisco field office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said in a statement that agents did only what they agreed to before the raid, and that any suggestion otherwise are “completely false, reckless, and disturbing.”

Santa Cruz police and immigration agents arrested 10 people allegedly associated with the MS-13 gang, also known as Mara Salvatrucha. Seven were charged with extortion and three with drug dealing.  Some of those arrested have been connected to four Santa Cruz homicides, the chief said. The chief said the department no longer trusts DHS and will no longer work with the agency. ICE is a subsidiary of DHS.

“We can’t cooperate with a law enforcement agency we cannot trust,” Vogel said.

Flippo said the gang-related arrests were the culmination of a five-year investigation launched when a Santa Cruz resident called police to complain about gang members extorting local businesses. Flippo said his department enlisted the help of DHS because of the gang’s notoriety and global reach. He said the raids were made Feb. 13 because it appeared gang members were planning a murder.

Flippo said at press conference Thursday that an additional 10 or more people agents encountered at the dozen residences raided Feb. 13 were arrested on immigration charges. Flippo says it appears most of them were later released after being ordered to wear GPS monitoring devices and given future court dates in immigration court.

Schwab, the federal spokesman, acknowledged that 11 people were detained on immigration charges, but that police had agreed before the raid that some foreign nationals might be briefly held until their identities and case histories could be determined. Schwab said that’s exactly what happened, and 10 of the 11 immigrants were released. One of them remains in custody because of his criminal history and possible ties to the gang investigation.

Santa Cruz Mayor Cynthia Chase said she is “deeply disturbed and upset. I’m outraged.” The police chief and mayor each apologized to city residents for unwittingly violating Santa Cruz’s sanctuary city policy.

President Donald Trump threatened in January to withhold federal funding from some 400 cities nationwide that have adopted similar policies.

But federal officials also denied that the new administration had anything to do with their plans or actions.”

….Continue reading @ Yahoo

More @ CaliforniaJimmy.com

 

Univision’s Jorge Ramos Tells Latinos America Is “Our Country, Not Theirs”

– theGatewayPundit

“They say after a drinks, the truth always comes out. Not with Univision’s Jorge Ramos, as all he needs is a latino audience and a camera. The television anchor let it be known who he thinks the United States really “belongs to” at the Univision Music Awards.

From NewsBusters:

Further ramping up his open opposition to President Trump’s immigration law enforcement policies, Univision anchor Jorge Ramos has let loose with an outrageous tirade that could best be described as equal parts nationalistic identity politics, racially-driven demagoguery, and yet another instance of the irresponsible conflation of legal and illegal immigration.

Here’s how the Univision/Fusion anchor kicked off his participation in the 2017 edition of the network’s annual entertainment awards show, Premios Lo Nuestro (“Our Awards”):

JORGE RAMOS, SENIOR NEWS ANCHOR, UNIVISION: I am an immigrant, just like many of you. I am a proud Latino immigrant here in the United States. My name is Jorge Ramos, and I work at Univision and at the Fusion network. And you know exactly what is going on here in the United States. There are many people who do not want us to be here, and who want to create a wall in order to separate us. But you know what? This is also our country. Let me repeat this: OUR country, not theirs. It is our country. And we are not going to leave. We are nearly 60 million Latinos in the United States. And thanks to US, the United States eats, grows and, as we’ve seen today, sings and dances. So when they attack us, we already know what we are going to do. We are not going to sit down. We will not shut up. And we will not leave. That is what we are going to do.

This certainly isn’t the first time Ramos has gotten fired up about immigration or anything Trump related, for that matter. The anchor was swiftly removed from a Trump presser over the summer.”

…..Continue reading @ theGatewayPundit

– Interesting to note, Ramos entered the United States on a ‘student’ visa to study journalism at UCLA Extension in Los Angeles. He had already been employed as a journalist in Mexico. He proceeded to start working immediately at KMEX in LA. He never attended classes as a student. Both actions made his visa fraudulent. Ramos is in fact an illegal alien working in the United States. /CJ

 

 

Family Argues Mexican National Killed by Border Patrol Had Constitutional Rights

– Breitbart

“A Mexican family whose son was killed by a U.S. Border Patrol agent told the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday that the agent violated their son’s constitutional rights by using unnecessary deadly force. A preliminary issue is whether the Constitution applies to someone who is not a citizen of the U.S. and was standing on Mexican soil at the time of the shooting.

The incident occurred in 2010 on the Mexico-Texas border at El Paso, Texas, and Juarez, Mexico. Fifteen-year-old Sergio Hernandez Guereca was shot on the Mexican side when the agent was on U.S. soil. The family argues that the area was “controlled” by the United States. The federal government, through the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), maintains that the agent is entitled to qualified immunity.

In their petition filed in the U.S. Supreme Court, the family of the teen states “This Court should make clear that our border is not an on/off switch for the Constitution’s most fundamental protections.”

The oral argument came right after the Trump Administration issued directives calling for the immediate construction of a border wall, as reported by Breitbart Texas. President Trump signed an executive order on January 25th to build the promised border wall.

The federal case of Hernandez v. Mesa has made its way up the federal court system since the case was filed in 2011. The incident occurred in 2010.

Advocates for the family claim that Hernandez Guereca and others were playing a game in which they would illegally cross onto U.S. soil, run up to the barbed wire border fence and then run back, as reported by Breitbart Texas. U.S. Border Patrol agent Jesus Mesa was patrolling on his bicycle. Mesa said he acted in self-defense and the U.S. Justice Department determined in 2012 after an investigation that the shooting “occurred while smugglers attempting an illegal border crossing hurled rocks from close range at a CBP [U.S. Customs and Border Patrol] agent who was attempting to detain a suspect.”

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that Agent Mesa was entitled to qualified immunity “because he did not violate any clearly established rights flowing from [the Constitution.]” Hernandez, as a Mexican citizen, “had no ‘significant voluntary connection’ to the United States,” and cannot assert an excessive force claim they held. The court of appeals dismissed the case and a well-respected justice nominated by President Ronald Reagan Justice Edith H. Jones wrote, “We should discourage this litigation before it takes root.”

….Continue reading @ Breitbart

 

 

NPR’s Hinojosa Has a Free Press Proposal Like a School Walk Out | ‘Don’t Show Up’ | Feb 19, 2017

NPR’s Hinojosa: The ‘Real Losers were Our Colleagues in the Mainstream Media’  | ‘There Should Be An Attempt’ To Have No One Show Up to a Trump Presser

– Youtube | MSNBC

Now that’s original.

   Moreover, when a sizable majority already dispise the media, how is going missing supposed to help? /CJ 

 

“It’s Unfair” – Hispanic Workers Upset After Being Fired For Absence On “Day Without Immigrants”

– ZeroHedge

“The manager of the ironically named “I Don’t Care” Bar and Grill in Catoosa, Oklahoma is hiring…

After firing 12 staff last week for violating his “no call/no show” policy.

Fox Baltimore reports that the workers are without a job after getting fired for skipping work as a show of support for “A Day Without Immigrants.”

The restaurant workers are all Hispanic and say it was important to them to participate in the national protest.

But they didn’t think it would cost them their jobs.

“They feel like they’ve been unfairly terminated,” said a friend, translating for the employees.

The owner fired them by text message.

A message to one of the employees reads: “You and your family are fired. I hope you enjoyed your day off, and you can enjoy many more. Love you.

The group willingly chose to stay home with others across the country, supporting “A Day Without Immigrants.”

Restaurant owner Bill McNally gave us a written statement, saying he has a “zero tolerance policy for no show/no call incidents and the 12 employees violated that policy.”

….Continue reading more @ ZeroHedge

No End in Sight to Oroville Crisis As Governor Fishes for Answers | Feb 14, 2017

A race against Mother Nature as officials send water cascading out of Lake Oroville

– LA Times

 

“With more storms expected to slam Northern California later this week, officials worked frantically Monday to drain water from brimming Lake Oroville in hopes of heading off a potentially catastrophic flood.

The operators at America’s tallest dam found themselves in a precarious position Monday, with both of the spillways used to release water compromised and the reservoir still filled almost to capacity after a winter of record rain and snow. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of evacuated residents downstream of the dam still have no clear word when they can return home.

Officials sent millions of gallons of water per minute down the massive reservoir’s main spillway. Engineers said that despite a huge gash that opened in the concrete channel a week ago, it was their best option for lowering the dangerously high lake level.

They hoped this would avert further use of the emergency spillway, where damage was discovered Sunday afternoon.

“It was the lesser of two evils,” state Department of Water Resources spokesman Eric See said Monday. “We didn’t want to have more damage, but we needed to evacuate water.”

The emergency spillway suffered severe erosion the day after water cascaded down the unpaved hillside for the first time since the dam opened in 1968.

The damage occurred even though the spillway was designed to handle much more water than the amount that overflowed. Some questioned why officials didn’t heed suggestions more than a decade ago to fortify the emergency spillway.

When it appeared the erosion could quickly worsen Sunday afternoon and potentially undermine the spillway’s concrete lip  — a scenario that could unleash a massive wall of water — officials ordered more than 100,000 people to evacuate the low-lying areas along the Feather River.

Racing against Mother Nature, water resources officials Monday sent water surging down the concrete main spillway — a move that lowered the lake level by several feet but threatened to widen the gash. Erosion on the main spillway so far was manageable, See said.

“I’ve been doing these flood battles since 1978,” said state Sen. Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber). “This is the one with the greatest potential for damage of all the ones I’ve dealt with.”

Both spillways are separate from the Oroville Dam itself, which officials say is not in danger of collapsing.

Officials said they want to lower the lake 50 feet by Wednesday to avoid another overflow on the damaged emergency spillway. If the head of the spillway crumbles, a 30-foot wall of water could go crashing down the hillside into the Feather River and toward Oroville, Marysville and Yuba City.

“Obviously any rain this week is not helpful at all,” said Tom Dang, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Sacramento.

On Monday, geysers of water shot from the placid lake and down the concrete spillway, like a water slide the width of a freeway.

Helicopters flew overhead and dump trucks shuttled across the top of Oroville Dam, carrying loads of rock to fill the eroded section. Without reinforcements, water could creep beneath the lip, causing it to crumble and allowing water to gush over the side.

In a letter Monday, Gov. Jerry Brown asked the Trump administration for a federal disaster declaration, saying the problems were likely to be more than local and state officials can handle.

Brown told reporters that he spoke to a member of the president’s Cabinet on Monday, but declined to say which one. “My office has been in touch with the White House,” Brown said. “I think that will be sufficient.”

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, meanwhile, sent an eight-person team to the area to help California officials prepare for potential flooding.

“We are trying to plan for the worst-case scenario,” said Ahsha Tribble, acting regional administrator for FEMA’s Region 9, which includes California. “It’s not a wait-and-see game.”

……Continue reading more @ LA Times

 

Evacuees stranded with no end in sight to Lake Oroville crisis

– SF Gate

OROVILLE, Butte County — The crisis at Lake Oroville may grind on for weeks or longer — leaving the nearly 200,000 people ordered to evacuate on Sunday in nail-biting limbo as crews work to flush water out of the reservoir and shore up a badly eroded emergency spillway, officials said Monday.

State water officials have been purging nearly 100,000 cubic feet of water per second out of the reservoir’s damaged but functioning primary spillway, an effort that brought the level down below the lip of the emergency spillway Sunday night, averting catastrophe.

But they are just beginning to assess the scope of the weekend damage, a first step in developing a plan to secure the reservoir and allow residents to return to their homes.

More rain is forecast to soak Lake Oroville and the surrounding mountains beginning Wednesday night, increasing the urgency of the work being done at the reservoir.

Gov. Jerry Brown said Monday evening that there might be an indication Tuesday on when evacuees can return to their towns, but added that caution was the watchword. “Better safe than sorry,” he said.

“My message is that we’re doing everything we can to get this dam in shape so they can return and live safely,” said the governor, who declared a state of emergency Sunday to mobilize disaster resources.

Crews noticed Sunday that the hillside under the emergency spillway — also called the auxiliary spillway — had begun rapidly deteriorating, just one day after water started cascading over its ledge for the first time since the Oroville Dam was put into operation in 1968.

That deep erosion scar carved its way back to the foot of the spillway’s apron, a concrete lip perched at the top of the hill, threatening the integrity of the barrier.

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea ordered an estimated 188,000 residents downstream along the Feather River to evacuate around 4:30 p.m. Sunday, when the possible breach in the spillway was detected. There was no plan for that evacuation order to be lifted, but Honea said officials were working on a “repopulation plan” for the residents.

“When it’s safe, based upon the evaluation by the Department of Water Resources and the state and federal partners, then we’ll be in a better position to decide when to lift that evacuation,” he said.

The Department of Water Resources began dropping large bags of rocks Monday afternoon via helicopters onto the eroded emergency spillway to divert water coming down the earthen hillside during future heavy rains and snowmelt. State officials did not give a timeline on how long it would take to shore up the scarred hillside.

Evacuees, meanwhile, anxiously cooled their heels in evacuation centers scattered throughout the area, without any sense of when they could return home.

Jaswinder Phagura, admitted she was “scared” as she stayed at the Sikh Temple emergency shelter in West Sacramento with family.

“How long will we be here?” said the 48-year-old Live Oak resident, who fled to the shelter with her 4-year-old daughter, sister-in-law and brother-in-law. “I hope when we go back that everything is OK there — pictures, our kids’ stuff.

“We just grabbed some stuff. It’s scary,” she said.

At the Cal Expo fairground in Sacramento, where families poured in throughout the evening, Treena Manion pointed out that many, like her, were losing income for every day they weren’t able to go to work back home — and that could quickly become a hardship. Still, she could understand the caution.

“Our lives are more important, and everything else can be replaced,” said the 43-year-old Marysville woman, who fled with her husband, daughter and five other relatives.

Among the others getting a hasty change of scenery: 579 inmates from Butte County Jail, who were evacuated in guarded buses 150 miles south to Alameda County’s Santa Rita Jail in Dublin.

Officials tried to assure evacuees that it was better to endure the inconvenience than to risk death beneath a roiling wall of water. .

“We don’t want people coming back into the community, then having another incident and having to evacuate again,” said Chris Orrock, spokesman for the water resources department. “Our No. 1 priority is the safety of the community and our staff.”

Complicating matters is a series of storms set to hit the area around Lake Oroville starting late Wednesday that will accelerate inflow into the reservoir.

“The area around Lake Oroville and mountains around Lake Oroville will see 1 to 2 inches with that storm,” said Tom Dang, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Sacramento.

That system will be followed by several more soaking storms through the weekend. Weekly rain totals could be as much as 8 inches in the mountains around Lake Oroville, Dang said.

Water continued to pour into Lake Oroville at 37,000 cubic feet per second on Monday while the lake level fell from 901 feet on Sunday to about 895 feet around noon Monday. Based on the current inflow and outflow, the Department of Water Resources said the reservoir is dropping at a rate of 8 feet per day.

It wasn’t clear if the next series of storms — or any rains or snowmelt that may follow — could push the water back up and over the emergency spillway.”

…Continue reading more @ SFGate

 

Governor Brown’s Monday Press Conference  | Nearly a Full Week after the start of the crisis last Tuesday

– Youtube

– Jerry Brown sounds like someone that just got into office. He seems to know so little so he goes into his politician mode.

“We have a lot of stuff here, we have to depend on the professionals, the engineers, they tell us what we need and then we do it.”

– Apparently not, reports are that the spillway badly needed repair and the governor did nothing since for three years. Instead he went to Rome, championed fighting Global Warming and championed programs for illegal aliens.

In a rambling, disjointed press conference he held after nearly a week of major problems at the dam, he tried to put the best face on his ill-timed and ill-considered squabbles with Washington now that he was asking for help and money from DC.

“It’s very difficult,” he stammered, “uh, I don’t….it’s hard to understand how people have been able to evacuate so quickly….and it distubance…to their lives.” What?

Two hundred thousand people evacuated and displaced, no government assistance, and all he can say is trust the government that they all doing all they can, when clearly they didn’t when it really mattered.

The Governor is now mired in three serious crises on his part time watch: The deal to bury toxic, deadly nuclear waste on the beach in San Onofre, the nation’s largest gas leak at Porter Ranch which also has no end in sight and now this potentially catastrophic disaster of his own making. Perhaps the governor should have concentrated on critical state problems instead of trying to be a global climate statesman. /CJ

 

 

Lake Oroville In Danger of Collapse Evacuations Ordered | Feb 13, 2017

Update Oroville Dam Overtops, Govt Still Refuses to Order Evacuation Preparations

– Youtube  |  Adapt 2030

Question: Where is the governor? The part time guv is again missing in action. Can we afford it?

This problem at Oroville has been unresolved since 2013 while the governor clearly had other priorities. /CJ

 

Threat of Oroville spillway collapse prompts evacuation of Marysville, Yuba, Butte and Sutter counties

– Sacramento Bee

“Chico evacuation center is full; additional shelter open at Neighborhood Church

Butte County announced at 7:40 p.m. that the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds evacuation center is full. Another shelter is available at the Neighborhood Church in Chico, 2801 Notre Dame Blvd.

Sacramento hotels filling with evacuees

Evacuees are reserving hotel rooms along Hwy. 99 and Interstate 5 in Sacramento near the airport. The Homewood Suites by Hilton started getting calls around 6 p.m., said Front Desk Agent Gao Hang. Twenty reservations were made within the hour in back-to-back phone calls.

“They didn’t care about the price at all because they just need a place to go,” she said. “It’s not just us.”

Two neighboring hotels are filling up as well, she said. The Homewood Suites is about 75 percent reserved so far.

Lake levels down, but risk remains

7:15 p.m.

Oroville Lake depths are decreasing rapidly as officials release a huge amount of water from its main spillway.

Lake levels have fallen about one-half a foot in the last two hours and stand at 901.35 feet, about four-tenths of a foot above the level where water flows through the emergency spillway, state figures show.

At that pace, water should stop spilling over the emergency spillway within several hours, giving officials a chance to more fully assess erosion.

Falling depths do not mean the areas below the dam are safe. The emergency spillway is essentially part of the dam and the concern is that it will fail, something that could happen even if water stops flowing over its top.”

….Continue reading more @ SacBee with video.

 

Oroville Dam UPDATE LEAVE THIS AREA NOW

– Youtube | oldmarinevaughn

 

 

Lake Oroville Auxiliary Spillway, February 11th at 11AM  |  Drone view

– California Department of Water Resources

– From the California Department of Water Resources | Lake Oroville Auxiliary Spillway, Feb 11th at 11am.