The Yuba River Development Project

New Bullards Bar Dam, North Yuba River
Log Cabin Dam, part of the Yuba River Development Project on Oregon Creek

The Yuba River Development Project (FERC No. 2246) is owned and operated by the Yuba County Water Agency (YCWA, now referred to as Yuba Water Agency). The project is located on the Yuba River, Middle Yuba River and Oregon Creek in Yuba County, California, and consists of 1 reservoir (New Bullards Bar on the North Yuba River), 2 diversion dams (Our House Diversion Dam on the Middle Yuba River and Log Cabin Diversion Dam on Oregon Creek), 3 powerhouses (New Colgate, Fish Release and Narrows No. 2) and various recreation facilities. The Project generates up to 361.9 megawatts. The initial FERC license for the Project expires April 30, 2016. The Yuba River Development Project (YRDP) is also using FERC’s Integrated Licensing Process.

YCWA’s stated goal in the YRDP relicensing is to obtain, “…a new license with minimal adverse impact to Project economics, while helping to foster YCWA’s relationship with the community, resource agencies, and other interested parties.  YCWA desires to obtain a new license of maximum term for the Project at a minimum cost (both initially and ongoing) that allows the Project to maximize profits from the production of electrical power while also meeting environmental, recreational, irrigation and other non-power requirements and needs.” FWN and SYRCL are also closely involved in this process.

Actions

In May 2018, FERC released their Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIS). SYRCL reached out to community members and received 215 letters from individuals commenting on the inadequate report, requesting better protections for Yuba Salmon and the Yuba River. In addition to the 215 letters, SYRCL also filed two other comment letters in partnership with the Foothills Water Network (FWN) and Friends of the River (FOR). Please see links below for copies of both letters and the full DEIS. The Final Environmental Impact Statement was released in January 2019, and did not include most of the environmental mitigation measures that FWN and other environmental stakeholders requested.

In August 2019, Yuba Water Agency requested a waiver of Clean Water Act Section 401 water quality certification from FERC. They received the waiver in Spring 2020. Click here to read more about the Clean Water Act 401 issue.

Recent filings on the Yuba River Development Project:

Final Environmental Impact Statement for Hydropower License Yuba River Development Project No. 2246-065 – California

Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Hydropower License Yuba River Development Project Project No. 2246-065 – California

Coalition Letter to Federal Government: Improve Salmon and River Conditions for the Next Generation July 30, 2018

FWN Comments and Recommendations on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the YRDP (P-2246-065) July 30, 2018

FWN Comment on Amended Final Licence Application (REA) Aug. 25 2017

FOR Comment on Amended Final Licence Application (REA) Aug. 25 2017

FWN Comment on Draft License Application 2014

FWN Comment on Initial Study Report 012713 final