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Public Comment Period Open For Dam Raising Project

Despite widespread disagreement between not only private entities, but between the state and federal governments, the Bureau of Reclamation has opened the public comment period for a supplemental environmental impact report for raising Shasta Dam. The bureau says that raising the height by 18.5 feet would increase the lake’s capacity by 630,000 acre-feet. The Trump Administration has ordered that the environmental review process be expedited in order to fast track large infrastructure projects such as this one. The State of California has objected to the project on various grounds. One of them is the effect it would have on the McCloud River but the Bureau of Reclamation claims that’s addressed in the new analysis written by a different set of biologists. The Winnemum Wintu, who lost most of their ancestral lands when the dam was built, would be underwater with the expansion of the lake. They say they rising water would flood many uncapped mines, releasing untold amounts of toxins into the lake. The tribe has been one of the primary voices in opposition to the project. A 45-day public comment period for the supplemental EIR will end September 21st. The documents can be accessed at https://www.usbr.gov/mp/nepa/nepa_project_details.php?project_id=1915.