The Corps acquired the Borel easement from Southern California Edison in September 2018. The easement is that portion of the Borel Canal that runs immediately upstream, through (the conduit), and immediately downstream of the Auxiliary Dam. All other portions of the canal, upstream and downstream, are not on Corps property or our project area and, therefore, we have no authority to determine what is done with those portions of the canal.
The Corps has sealed the conduit through the Auxiliary Dam with concrete and filled those portions of the easement directly upstream of the dam with soil and rock. This work was completed in February 2019. As a result, the low-water restriction has been lifted and lake levels will be allowed to rise once again to restricted pool - 361,250 acre-feet - weather permitting.
Sealing the conduit has permanently cut off water supply to the Borel Hydroelectric Project. SCE will be responsible for determining any actions (including potential decommissioning) related to the canal and power station. SCE could also negotiate for another agency to take the lead in the decommissioning process.
Regardless of who takes that lead, other agencies would then partner together to ensure a smooth and appropriate process. For example, the California Public Utility Commission would be responsible for approving any change in power plant status to ensure local ratepayers and private landowners are not unfairly affected.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which permits hydropower production at Borel, would require that actions related to decommissioning be taken in a timely manner and that the canal not be left to create a safety hazard.
Finally, the US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, who own much of the land underneath the canal, would provide input into the final state of the canal.
As you can see, between USACE, FERC, CPUC, USFS, and BLM, there are several federal and state agencies working together with SCE and the public to put together the best environmental and economic plan for the fate of the Borel Canal, and regardless of the final decision, the public will have a chance to review the proposed action and provide comment.