DA sues DWR over dam

Butte County district attorney alleges environmental damage due to spillway failure

Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey (pictured) announced Wednesday (Feb. 7) that he is invoking a state Fish and Game law dating back to 1870 to sue the state Department of Water Resources for environmental damage due to the Oroville Dam spillway disaster last year. He is doing so on behalf of the state of California.

“Civil penalties can range upwards of $51 billion for the 1,700,000 cubic yards of soil, concrete and other material dumped into the Feather River,” according to a press release from the DA’s office. The suit alleges degradation of the river and loss of public resources including fish, noting that the spillway failure prompted the evacuation of the Feather River Fish Hatchery.