Wednesday July 27, 2022

Northern California Public Media

The Potter Valley Project is a century-plus-old hydroelectric plant north of Ukiah. Owned by Pacific Gas and Electric, it transfers water from the Eel River to the Russian River, providing drinking water to many in Sonoma County. But big changes are on the way.

“Everyone who is a PG&E customer is currently paying PG&E to run these facilities, kill fish and not determine the proper solution.” Redgie Collins said. “They need to step up to the plate and be the stewards in the environment that they claim to be in order to move this process as quickly as possible.”

That’s how Collins, with the conservation group California Trout, described PG&E’s handling of the Potter Valley Project. Cal Trout’s criticism follows a letter to federal agencies claiming PG&E fails to protect endangered salmon and trout populations in the Eel River, below the dams of the Project.

On behalf of the utility, PG&E spokesperson Deanna Contreras said in a statement emailed to KRCB the company is “strongly committed to environmental responsibility,” and that PG&E runs the Potter Valley Project in full accordance with federal regulations. That’s including how many endangered fish can legally be killed, otherwise known as incidental take, under its operating license.

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