Board of Consultants Memos

A Board of Consultants (BOC) is required by California Water Code (Division 3, Part 1, Chapter 3, Section 6056) for modifications to any dam owned by DWR. In addition, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) requires a Board of Consultants to review and comment on repairs to dams. Therefore, the recovery of the Oroville spillways is being reviewed by the BOC. DWR has engaged a five-member BOC for the emergency response and repairs of the Oroville Dam spillways. The BOC, along with the California Division of Safety of Dams (DSOD), and FERC are the main independent entities overseeing the design and construction at the Lake Oroville spillways. The BOC is compensated by DWR, and members may change as different technical expertise is required. The primary BOC members include:

The accelerated review process includes frequent meetings where the DWR team presents partial design concepts to DSOD, FERC and the BOC for review and comment. This is an interactive and deliberative process, with the goal of developing a final design for the project.

All comments and recommendations by the BOC are preliminary, with each comment individually evaluated by DWR. In some cases, BOC comments and recommendations are incorporated into the design. In other cases, further evaluation is necessary prior to implementation; or information is developed and presented that reverses a prior opinion of the BOC. In all cases, each recommendation is carefully tracked and worked through between the BOC, DSOD, FERC, and DWR.

BOC Memos


Safeguarding Security Information

Because dams such as Oroville are critical infrastructure, FERC regulations provide that certain sensitive details may be kept confidential. Given the nature of its work, the memos by the BOC are likely to contain specific engineering, vulnerability and detailed design information about proposed or existing infrastructure that DWR considers “critical energy/electrical infrastructure information,” or CEII, under guidelines set by the FERC.

FERC does not make public documents designated as CEII by dam owners. DWR will evaluate memos and reports by the BOC for CEII content and treat each document accordingly.

Within the bounds of security restrictions, DWR is committed to regularly updating the public on the work, findings and recommendations of the BOC and on the work to rebuild the Oroville spillways before the next storm season.

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