UPDATE ON THE CLEAN WATER ACT 401 FERC ACTION: On July 21, 2020, FERC refused to reverse the waivers of Clean Water Act protections on over a dozen dams and hydropower units in the Yuba and Bear River watersheds. Despite overwhelming opposition, FERC will not uphold the Clean Water Act and has decided to allow hydropower dams to harm our rivers for generations to come. SYRCL cannot let this stand.
Thank you to the 800 members and supporters who signed this important letter. SYRCL will continue to engage with stakeholders and strongly advocate for important clean water protections in our watersheds.
If you can, please continue to help us defend our beloved rivers by donating today. We remain committed to uniting the community on behalf of our watersheds through science-based advocacy, but we need your help to address this new threat. Stay tuned for more details about our actions over the next month.
Did you know that the Yuba and Bear River watersheds are severely impacted by some of the oldest hydropower dams in the country? That is why we are writing to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to ask them to protect our rivers by reversing the recent waivers of vital Clean Water Act protections in our watersheds.
Recently, FERC waived Section 401 of the Clean Water Act for Nevada Irrigation District’s Yuba-Bear Hydropower Project and Yuba Water Agency’s Yuba River Development Project. Those projects are among the oldest and most complex hydropower projects in the state, and the licenses are over 50 years old.
These waivers mean that most of the Yuba and Bear River watersheds may not have vital water quality protections from dams and hydropower for the next 40-50 years.
We need your help. Short of legal action, SYRCL and other environmental partners have consistently opposed these waivers for the past year, to no avail. The health of our waterways and protecting our bedrock environmental laws are more important now than ever before. Section 401 of the Clean Water Act safeguards watershed health by providing unique regulatory controls on dams and hydropower operations. It should not be sacrificed for any reason.
Please take action today on behalf of California, the Yuba River watershed and for all who live here. Tell FERC Commissioners to reverse the 401 waivers and order Nevada Irrigation District and Yuba Water Agency to obey state environmental regulations. Protect the Clean Water Act and our rivers today.