SCIENTISTS CONFIRM MISMANAGEMENT BY PG&E IS KILLING TWO NORTHERN CALIFORNIA RIVERS AND DEGRADING SALMON HABITAT
SAUSALITO, CA March, 1, 2010 — Today the Friends of the Eel River (FOER) brought legal action before the State Water Resources Control Board (State Board), in an attempt to stop Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), from destroying two northern California rivers essential to the restoration of California’s once-vibrant billion dollar salmon industry.
The FOER legal action challenges the diversion of almost all of the flow of the Eel River to PG&E’s Potter Valley hydroelectric project (PVP), consisting of two dams and a diversion tunnel. During the dry season, almost 98% of the Eel River flows are diverted into the Russian River. “The State Board has an obligation to ensure that PG&E’s use of water is reasonable and does not harm public trust resources in the Eel River,” noted environmental attorney Ellison Folk, with the law firm Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger. PG&E’s Potter Valley Project, however, is damaging the public trust resources by threatening the survival of the remaining populations of the state and federally listed endangered salmon and steelhead, in exchange for a negligible amount of energy it produces.