Sonoma Proposal for Eel River Dams and Why Humboldt Should Be Wary

On this week’s episode of the EcoNews Report our host Tom Wheeler is joined by Alicia Hamann and Craig Tucker from Friends of the Eel River to discuss a vague, last-minute proposal from water users to take over part of the Potter Valley Project. Pacific Gas and Electric, owners of the two Eel River dams and diversion tunnel that make up the Project, are in the midst of preparing their license surrender and decommissioning plan. The company will submit a draft plan this November, with a final plan due January 2025. And PG&E has been clear that they want to rid themselves of this aging, liability-ridden project – they’ve told stakeholders that their plan will call for removal of all infrastructure in the water. BUT – they also told stakeholders this spring that the company would be open to proposals to take over all or part of the project through the end of July.

Well, a proposal from Sonoma Water, Mendocino County Inland Water and Power Commission, and the Round Valley Indian Tribes was published just last week, but it’s really more of a plan to make a plan. While it supports removal of Scott Dam, the plan is unclear about the future of Cape Horn Dam, or how any of their proposed modifications to Cape Horn Dam will be financed. Leaving the most difficult questions unanswered makes it all but certain that this proposal would delay PG&E’s plans for decommissioning and dam removal.

Tune in to learn what Eel River advocates think about this proposal, and how conservation organizations plan to continue holding PG&E to a swift timeline for dam removal.

Sonoma’s Eel River Diversion Plan Risks Extinction of Humboldt Fisheries

Past episodes about Eel River Dams:
PG&E Finally Taking Dam Safety Seriously 4/1/2023
Big Doings on the Beautiful Eel River 8/6/2022
The Beginning of the End for Eel River Dams 4/16/2022
What’s Next for Eel River Dams 2/12/2022