Reclamation Releases Final Environmental Documents on Stanislaus Afterbay Dam Removal

Media Contact: Pete Lucero, MP Region Public Affairs Officer, 916-978-5100

For Release: February 13, 2012

The Bureau of Reclamation has released the Final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact (EA/FONSI) on demolishing and removing the Stanislaus Afterbay Dam on the upper arm of the Stanislaus River, approximately 12 miles east of Angels Camp, Calif., between Calaveras and Tuolumne Counties.

The dam is located on Reclamation land within the New Melones Lake Area and is part of the Spring Gap-Stanislaus Project, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) No. 2130, owned by Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E). The timber-faced, steel-buttress dam, built in 1962, is obsolete and no longer fulfills its intended function, which was to buffer the flows from the Stanislaus Powerhouse. The dam is submerged when flows in the Stanislaus River are greater than 800 cubic feet per second, and it has been damaged by accumulated debris, including logs and tree branches. Further, FERC, PG&E and Reclamation have determined that the dam poses a public safety hazard.

PG&E proposes to remove the dam in compliance with Article 302 of the Spring Gap-Stanislaus Project’s operating license to enhance public safety and increase fish passage and public accessibility for recreation. PG&E is paying costs associated with dam removal and restoring the site to preconstruction conditions. Reclamation is the lead agency responsible for ensuring that appropriate environmental compliance documentation is completed.

The Final EA/FONSI were developed under the National Environmental Policy Act and are available at If you encounter problems accessing the document online, please contact the Public Affairs Office at 916-978-5100 or

To request a copy of the documents or for additional information, please contact Patti Clinton, Reclamation, at 916-989-7173 or

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR.

Relevant Link:

The Final EA/FONSI