‘Broken Promises’ County Officials, Public Sound off on Current and Historical Problems at Oroville Dam

‘Broken Promises’ County Officials, Public Sound off on Current and Historical Problems at Oroville Dam

A deluge of grievances regarding long-stalled relicensing, management and repairs at the Oroville Dam prompted by the recent crisis at the reservoir were aired at the Butte County Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday (April 11). Discussion of the dam, which lasted more than two hours, was agendized as an informational update regarding the facility’s relicensing … Read more

Oroville Disaster May Have Been Caused by Weak Soil Under Spillway

Portions of Oroville Dam’s damaged spillway may have been built atop highly weathered rock, geologists say, a type vulnerable to erosion during the weeks of rain that led up to the disaster. THE DESTRUCTION OF Oroville Dam’s main spillway in February likely occurred because it was built on highly erodible rock, according to several experts interviewed … Read more

109-year-old Potter Valley Project the Controversial Link Between Russian and Eel Rivers

109-year-old Potter Valley Project the Controversial Link Between Russian and Eel Rivers

About 80 feet behind the PG&E hydropower plant in Potter Valley, gray-green silt-laden water from the Eel River passes through a steel gate and is invisibly transformed. It has become part of the Russian River, which provides water for more than 600,000 people from Redwood Valley to northern Marin County. “Once it passes the gate, … Read more

Oroville Dam Documents Kept Secret by State, Federal Officials

Oroville Dam Documents Kept Secret by State, Federal Officials

Citing potential security risks, state and federal officials are blocking the public’s ability to review documents that could shed light on repair plans and safety issues at crippled Oroville Dam. One of the secret reports is a memo from an independent panel of experts brought in to guide state officials’ repair plans. Another confidential document … Read more

Letter to the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Energy Subcommittee

Letter to the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Energy Subcommittee

March 15, 2017 The Honorable Fred Upton Chairman Energy and Commerce Committee U.S. House of Representatives Washington, DC 20515 The Honorable Bobby Rush Ranking Member Energy and Commerce Committee U.S. House of Representatives Washington, DC 20515   Dear Chairman Upton and Ranking Member Rush: We at Friends of the Eel River appreciate the opportunity to … Read more

Comments to FERC re: Application for Temporary Variance of Minimum Flow Requirement

In July 2016 PG&E requested yet another temporary variance from minimum flow requirements for the purpose of preserving water resources during the drought. We submitted comments on the variance, voicing our concern about inadequate management of the Potter Valley Project. Read a portion of our comments below, or click here to read the entire document. … Read more

Hydroelectric Power Officials Bemoan Federal Regulations

Hydroelectric Power Officials Bemoan Federal Regulations

WASHINGTON Federal burdens dampen California’s hydroelectric power potential, PG&E and Turlock Irrigation District officials told lawmakers Tuesday. They were preaching to the Capitol Hill choir. Summoned by House Republicans who hope to unleash more of what they called a “clean, renewable and domestic energy resource,” the two California utilities’ representatives described a regulatory thicket that … Read more

Eel River Flows Still Too Low in Peak Salmon Spawning Period + RVITs Comments to FERC

Eel River Flows Still Too Low in Peak Salmon Spawning Period + RVITs Comments to FERC

This month’s rainfall and cooler temperatures have helped lessen the strain on salmon migrating on the Eel River, but not near enough to ease the concerns of local researchers. And they have their reasons. By: Will Houston November 29, 2015 Eureka Times Standard Since Chinook salmon began entering the drought-stricken river this year, they were … Read more

Comments to FERC re: Temporary Variance 2015

June 2, 2015 Honorable Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 888 First Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20426-0001 via Electronic Submittal (E-Filing) Re: COMMENTS on Application by Pacific Gas and Electric for Temporary Variance Of Minimum Flow Requirement, Potter Valley Project (FERC Project No. 77- 275); MOTION TO INTERVENE. Dear Secretary Bose, Friends of … Read more

Feds OK plan to keep more water in Lake Pillsbury reservoir

Feds OK plan to keep more water in Lake Pillsbury reservoir

Federal authorities have granted temporary flow reductions aimed at keeping more water in Lake Pillsbury, a small but crucial reservoir high in the Mendocino National Forest that supplies water to the Eel River, Lake Mendocino, the Russian River and the people, farmers and fish dependent on them. The move is aimed at ensuring healthier river … Read more