The Trump administration is refusing to pay more than $300 million in federal funds California sought to repair the Oroville Dam, which suffered a spillway crisis in 2017 after heavy rains that led to nearly 200,000 residents getting evacuated downstream from the nation's tallest earthen dam.
State officials worked to plug a hole in the flood-control spillway and put the estimate to repair the dam at about $1.1 billion back in 2018. But the Federal Emergency Management Agency plans to reimburse California for only $333 million of the cost, instead of the $639 million sought by the state.
The administration's rejection of $306 million in costs for the Oroville Dam means the federal government would pay less than one third of the total cost the state was forced to spend on the emergency repairs.
According to the California Department of Water Resources, FEMA notified the state this week that "it does not consider some spillway construction to be eligible for reimbursement based on information submitted by DWR to date. DWR will work with FEMA to provide further information to support the department's assertion that all reconstruction work should be eligible for reimbursement."