Protest about Oroville Dam spillway blasting

An injunction request was handed in by a group of people about the blasting occurring along Oro Dam Boulevard.

Posted: Mar 22, 2019 5:51 PM
Updated: Mar 23, 2019 10:28 AM

OROVILLE, Calif. - Friday, a group of concerned people from Oroville went to the Butte County Courthouse to file an injunction request they hope will stop the blasting along Oro Dam Boulevard.

The protestors are worried the blasting will damage the base of the dam. 


Saturday, Mar. 23, 2019

Oroville Dam Blvd East will be closed for an estimated thirty minutes for construction blasting on Saturday from approximately 3:45 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Drivers who wish to avoid this delay at Canyon Drive or Glen Drive can bypass the closed portion, via 1) Canyon Drive to Olive Highway or 2) Glen Drive to Oro-Quincy Highway to Olive Highway.

The short blasting is part of the post-construction site restoration on the hillsides near the spillway.

DWR has been conducting controlled blasting at the Oroville spillways construction site since May of 2017. DWR has obtained required permits for the controlled light charge blasting from its state and federal regulatory partners, as well as the Butte County Sheriff’s Department and the Butte County Air Quality Management District.

According to the Department of Water Resources (DWR), ontrolled light charge blasting is a safe and a common practice at dam construction sites throughout the United States.

Seismographs are located throughout the project area in Oroville in order to monitor movements and to make sure recorded vibrations are within safe levels, said DWR officials.

The blasting will be similar to those completed in the past several weeks. The DWR said they  anticipate similar noise levels locally.

They apologize for any inconvenience and thank for your "continued patience."

They handed the paperwork in Friday morning, but the injunction request is not on file with the courts yet. 

One protestor, Paul Preston, wants a "complete and thorough investigation what is going on."

The protestors are hoping to have a hearing with a judge by Monday afternoon. 

In a statement from the DWR they say, "At Oroville, seismographs are located throughout the project area to monitor movements and to make sure recorded vibrations are within safe levels."

A representative also added that all of DWR's work is approved by an independent board of consultants, as well as state and federal regulators. 

Watch the video to read DWR's statement referencing blasting concerns.

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