In response to preventable disasters like the 2010 San Bruno pipeline explosion, Pacific Gas and Electric has insisted that they are committed to high safety standards. It’s now a decade, and several other disasters, later and the company has yet to prove that they are following through on their promise to “…remain forever committed to taking action to meet the high safety standards that our customers, and we, demand and expect.”
Given PG&E’s record of failing to adequately maintain infrastructure necessary to ensure safety, Friends of the Eel River is concerned about whether the company has complied with required safety inspections and maintenance at Scott Dam on the Eel River. Scott Dam is rated as “high hazard” because loss of life is likely in the event of a failure. In 2018 FOER commissioned a study of seismic stability at Scott Dam, the report concluded that there are “significant geologic hazards that warrant further study.”
Governor Newsom is working to hold PG&E accountable for needed safety improvements on their other infrastructure. He is in a position to mandate that PG&E take financial responsibility for the liability of dam removal on the Eel River. We believe it is unfair to place the burden of these cleanup costs on the public.
Please join us in asking Governor Newsom to ensure that any resolution of Pacific Gas and Electric’s bankruptcy includes provisions for the utility’s liabilities for the two dams on the upper Eel River.
Personal snail-mail letters and phone calls will have the greatest impact.
Governor Gavin Newsom
1303 10th Street, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 445-2841
You can also send an email using the form below – our sample letter is automatically included with your personalized message
FOER sample letter to Governor Newsom:
(Click here to download a pdf)
Dear Governor Newsom,
Please ensure that any resolution of Pacific Gas and Electric’s bankruptcy includes provisions for the utility’s liabilities for the two dams on the upper Eel River that are part of the Potter Valley Project.
Scott Dam, built in 1922 next to a major earthquake fault, faces a number of serious safety problems. Highly toxic mercury has accumulated in the sediments trapped behind Scott Dam. And crucially, the dam lacks any fish passage, blocking access to hundreds of miles of prime habitat.
Cape Horn Dam, 12 miles downriver, has been obsolete for a century. Its fish ladder has been blocked repeatedly by high flows during fish migrations over the last few years.
Experts estimate that decommissioning and removal of the Eel River dams is likely to cost in excess of $100 million. It would be deeply unfair to burden the public with the cleanup costs for a facility that PG&E has operated for nearly a century.
Please don’t let PG&E off the hook.