Accelerated Folsom Dam spillway progress estimated to reduce project emissions

Published Aug. 18, 2014

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Analysis of air quality compliance for the Folsom Dam auxiliary spillway project released August 18 found that increased construction activity would likely cause emissions to exceed federal thresholds for 2014, but could help reduce total emissions over the life of the project.

The new report, called a draft conformity determination, was completed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District after a review of emissions produced in 2014 showed an increase beyond expectations due to the acceleration of heavy construction work.

Drought conditions at Folsom Lake allowed certain construction phases to be accelerated and completed ahead of the original schedule.  

“The drought, in a sense, has helped our project because it allowed us to complete work under dry conditions instead of underwater as originally planned,” said Corps project manager Katie Huff. “While pushing that work up increased our emissions this year, we expect it will lower our overall emissions on the project.”  

The new determination considered updated calculations based on actual activity through June 2014 and projected activity through completion of the project in 2017. To mitigate for the increased 2014 emissions, the Corps will achieve compliance with the Clean Air Act by funding programs administered by the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District to reduce an equal amount of emissions as those produced by the Folsom Dam Modification Project.

The report and supporting assessment is available for a 30-day review period, and can be viewed on the Corps’ Sacramento District website here. Interested parties can submit comment to until the conclusion of the review period on Sept. 17, 2014.  Comments and responses will be available upon request within 30 days of the final conformity determination.

Tyler Stalker

Release no. 14-043