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Oroville-Thermalito Complex

Emergency and security plans for a water and power storage/conveyance system are tested in simulated disasters.
  • Hydroelectric Dam Safety —Gannett Fleming

    Gannett Fleming tested the Emergency Action Plan for the Oroville Dam, the U.S.’s tallest dam.

  • Hydroelectric Dam Safety —Gannett Fleming

    Security site assessments at the Thermalido power plant improve safety and security.

California Department of Water Resources

Oroville, California

Our Role
Emergency Action Plan Facilitator and Recorder for Tabletop Exercise, Emergency Action Plan Functional Exercise, Security Plan Tabletop Exercise, Security Site Assessments and Plan Enhancement.

  • Tabletop exercise to improve the Emergency Action Plan
  • Tabletop exercise to strengthen security plans
  • Facilitated operational communication and information sharing. 

Although most owners of water and power facilities have a high level of confidence in the structures they maintain, history has shown the need to be prepared in the event of an emergency. Gannett Fleming performed two tabletop exercises at the Oroville-Thermalito Complex to evaluate responses during simulated dam failures and security incidents. 

The complex includes the Oroville Dam which, at 770 feet, is the tallest dam in the U.S. Other facilities are the Hyatt Powerplant, Thermalito Diversion Dam and Powerplant, the Feather River Fish Hatchery, Thermalito Power Canal, Thermalito Forebay, Thermalito Pumping-Generating Plant, and the Thermalito Afterbay. 

What We Did

The Gannett Fleming team helped to coordinate and facilitate the tabletop exercises related to the complex’s Emergency Action Plan and Security Plan. 

The Emergency Action Plan exercise focused on potential failure scenarios for each dam and appurtenant structures in the complex. Participants of the tabletop workshop, including officials from the California Department of Water Resources (DWR), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the FERC Part 12 consultant, and a board of independent consultants, tested their ability to respond to the simulated event and reduce the risk of loss of life and property.

The Oroville Security Plan Tabletop Exercise tested the Security Plan at the facilities. The scenario focused on DWR activities and law enforcement agency response during a security incident and breach at the Oroville switchyard. Local, regional, state, and federal law enforcement agencies participated, resulting in opportunities to strengthen the Security Plan.

Key Features

  • Coordination and collaboration with local, regional, state, and federal law enforcement, regulatory agencies, and other stakeholders to improve security and reduce loss of life, property, and impacts to the environment
  • After-action reports developed using a capabilities and performance based approach centered on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Core Capabilities.

Similar Projects: Water/Wastewater: Dams & Levees, Dams & Levees: Emergency Action Plans & EAP Exercises, Engineering, Power, Engineering: Power, Security & Safety, Power: Support Services, Water/Wastewater