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Mid-Pacific Region
Sacramento, Calif.
Media Contact:
Pete Lucero, MP Region Public Affairs Officer
916-978-5100

Released On: October 05, 2012

Pacific Gas and Electric Company to Begin Removing the Stanislaus Afterbay Dam Located on Reclamation Land

ANGELS CAMP, Calif. – Pacific Gas and Electric Company has notified the Bureau of Reclamation of its schedule for 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 No. 2130, owned by 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The timber-faced, steel-buttress dam, built in 1962, is obsolete and no longer fulfills its intended function, which was to buffer the flows from the Stanislaus Powerhouse.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 is removing the dam in compliance with Article 302 of FERC Project No. 2130 – Spring Gap-Stanislaus Project’s operating license to enhance public safety and increase fish passage and public accessibility for recreation. The anticipated schedule follows:

  • Preparation work – Oct. 8-19 (daylight hours only)
  • Dam removal – Oct. 20-Nov. 4 (day and night operations)
  • Clean up and demobilize – Nov. 5-12 (daylight hours only).

 

The work will require extensive trucking with traffic controls along Camp Nine Road. Traffic delays of up to 30 minutes are possible; flaggers will hold traffic only when necessary. Truck traffic noise will only occur between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.  Because of the dam’s remote location, any noise impacts associated removal activities will be minor. The contractor will follow all best management practices to minimize construction impacts to local residents.

PG&E will coordinate with the Oakdale and South San Joaquin Irrigation Districts (the Tri-Dam Project) and with the Northern California Power Agency on decreasing water releases from their respective dams during in-river activities. Decreases are anticipated to begin Oct. 20 and end Nov. 12. A qualified biologist will capture any stranded fish with dip nets and move them to an area downstream of the dam. Short-term, temporary disruptions to recreational activities may occur near the site. 

For additional information, please see the Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact at http://www.usbr.gov/mp/nepa/nepa_projdetails.cfm?Project_ID=7851 or contact Sandra Suchodolski, New Melones Recreation Resources Branch, at 209-536-9094 (TTY 800-877-8339) or ssuchodolski@usbr.gov, or Michael Decarlo, PG&E, at 801-518-6501 or M2DA@pge.com.

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