The Governor said he was unaware of the problems and proclaimed, "stuff happens and we respond."
Aug 15, 2017
A class-action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of 188,000 people who had to evacuate because of the Oroville Dam crisis. They allege "that the state Department of Water Resources negligently allowed maintenance woes at the nation’s tallest dam to fester." The Department of Water Resources maintains that they have done everything according to the book, everything that state and federal regulations demand.
Federal inspectors wrote as recently as 2014 that "based on engineering studies, inspections and other geo-technical information they reviewed, the main spillway chute was “in good condition, and the underlying rock is very competent.” They were wrong.
We've felt for years, decades, that the state has not done an adequate job of increasing the storage capacity of the state and federal storage system. But, we didn't think that the state was negligent in keeping current infrastructure maintained. Were they? If they were negligent, is someone responsible? The Governor said he was unaware of the problems and proclaimed, "stuff happens and we respond."
The class-action lawsuit wants money for those inconvenienced by the evacuations. That's fine, but we'd really like to get to the bottom of this. Does the anti-dam attitude of state bureaucrats and regulators have anything to do with this? Or was it an honest mistake? We don't know, but we'd like to know. Will there be an honest evaluation? We can only hope.
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