Wednesday July 13, 2022

Eureka Times-Standard

Pacific Gas & Electric does not believe it’s necessary to reexamine its license terms for endangered species at the Potter Valley Project as it prepares to decommission the dams, according to a letter the utility submitted to federal regulators.

PG&E submitted letters to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Friday stating that it would take about 30 months to submit an application to surrender its license once its plan and schedule for doing so receives approval from the federal agency. On Tuesday, PG&E sent another letter stating that the letter sent by the National Marine Fisheries Service stating the terms for endangered fish species should be reevaluated in the interim contained “legal and factual inaccuracies” though it was willing to revisit some terms “so long as any revisions reflect the same level of effort and funding as is currently required.”

“To the extent NMFS intended there to be some reevaluation or assessment after twenty years, it could have said so in the (Biological Opinion),” the letter states. “In fact, the BiOp does require periodic adaptive management reviews. For example, NMFS required a review of the summer flow component of the (reasonable and prudent alternative) after 10 years of monitoring. Similarly, the interactions of the pikeminnow population and salmonids were required to be reassessed after 5 years. Those reviews occurred, and no changes were determined to be necessary.”

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