Independent Forensic Team

The Independent Forensic Team (IFT) has been selected to determine the root cause of the spillway incident, as well as other contributing causes including operations, structural, geologic, and management. To provide an independent review, DWR contacted the Association of State Dam Safety Officials and the United States Society of Dams, two nationally recognized dam safety organizations, to propose a team of experts capable of conducting a forensic evaluation of the Lake Oroville spillways incident. The six members of the IFT were identified on March 15.

  • John France, PE, D. GE, D. WRE, Team leader, expertise in geotechnical engineering
  • Irfan A. Alvi, PE Hydraulic Structures Engineer and Human Factors Specialist
  • Peter A. Dickson, PhD, PG Engineering Geologist
  • Henry T. Falvey, Dr.Ing, Hon.D.WRE Hydraulic Engineer
  • Stephen Rigbey, Director of Dam Safety at BC Hydro, British Columbia, Canada and President, SJR Consulting Inc., Vancouver, Canada, expertise in operations
  • John Trojanowski, PE, President, Trojanowski Dam Engineering, Limited, expertise in hydraulic structures

Preliminary findings were released on May 5, 2017, listing 24 physical factors that potentially contributed to the main spillway damage and four physical factors that may have contributed to the emergency spillway damage.

The IFT published an interim memorandum summarizing their findings of the Lake Oroville spillways failure and DWR released a statement regarding the memo on September 5, 2017.

On January 5, 2018, the IFT published the final report on the causes of the Lake Oroville spillways failures.

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