Sifting Through the Studies: Scott Dam Removal

When dams are removed, a variety of experts from engineers to hydrologists and biologists develop plans to minimize negative impacts on aquatic life. When PG&E’s license for the Potter Valley Project on the Eel River expired last month, that began the decommissioning process which will ultimately lead to dam removal. Many studies have already been … Read more

PG&E’s License to Operate Potter Valley Project Expires

Aging Eel River dams headed for license surrender and decommissioning Today, PG&E’s license to operate the Potter Valley Project (PVP) expires. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) – the agency tasked with regulating hydropower projects – will now ask PG&E to surrender their license to operate the project and propose a plan to decommission it. … Read more

FOER and Allies Call for Interim Protective Measures Pending Decommissioning of PVP

April 11, 2022 Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 888 First Street, NE Washington, D.C. 20426 Re: Interim Protective Measures Pending Decommissioning of the Potter Valley Project (P-77) on the Eel River, California Dear Secretary Bose: The undersigned organizations share a deep concern for the Eel River’s critically imperiled fisheries, especially its salmon … Read more

Letters: Salmon, not grapes, are at risk

Letter to the Editor: The Ukiah Daily Journal April 2, 2022 To the Editor – The Eel River’s embattled salmon and steelhead may have no better enemy than Guinness McFadden. In his March 25 letter to the Ukiah Daily Journal, the Potter Valley wine grape grower kicks up a fuss about Representative Jared Huffman’s efforts … Read more

Sifting Through the Studies: Habitat Behind Scott Dam

Chinook salmon and steelhead can’t reach hundreds of miles of their former habitat because the Eel River is blocked by Scott Dam. According to the latest research, this upper basin habitat provides ample cold water habitat, even in warm years. So Eel River dam removal is a huge opportunity for salmon and steelhead recovery. A … Read more

What’s Next for Eel River Dams?

In this week’s edition of the EcoNews Report, Friends of the Eel River discuss developments in the thrilling drama of Eel River dam removal. It’s a story of injustice and opportunity— a 100-year-old water diversion that takes from one watershed to give to another, and the chance to correct the harms by returning salmon and … Read more

Action Alert: Ask FERC to Initiate License Surrender for Eel River Dams

Background The Two Basin Partnership reported to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that they will not submit an application to relicense the Potter Valley Project and its two dams on the upper Eel River. Project owner Pacific Gas and Electric withdrew its own relicensing application in 2019. FERC must now order PG&E to begin … Read more

Dam Safety Series: Faults

Closeup of Bartlett Springs Fault from USGS

Hold PG&E At Fault Underlying issues threatening Scott Dam Scott Dam’s proximity to the Bartlett Springs Fault is a major safety concern. The Bartlett Springs fault was not identified by geologists as “a regionally significant seismic source” until the 1980s, nearly sixty years after Scott Dam was constructed. Scott Dam is not only old, outdated, … Read more

Letter to California Public Utilities Commission Regarding PVP Equipment Failure

Wednesday, October 27, 2021 President Marybel Batjer California Public Utilities Commission 505 Van Ness Avenue San Francisco, CA 94102 via electronic mail as feasible   RE: Potter Valley Project Equipment Failure Dear President Batjer, This letter is meant to apprise you of important developments regarding PG&E’s Potter Valley Project (Project). The Project is a hydroelectric … Read more

Dam Safety Series: Sediment

Restorative Vision for the Upper Eel River

A Much Bigger Problem – More ways poor design impacts dam safety at Scott Dam Decreased water storage, high temperatures, and evapotranspiration cause the sediment that has piled up in steep banks behind Scott Dam to dry out and slough off, threatening to irreparably clog the ‘needle valve’ which is the only way to release … Read more