a project of the
Alliance for Democracy

get email updates!

Translator

    Translate to:

River group sues PGE over dam operations

By Hilary Corrigan / The Bulletin
Published Aug 17, 2016 at 12:03AM

Related articles:

Portland General Electric plans to take several months to clarify its research in response to state concerns about the utility’s study of impacts to aquatic insects from its underwater withdrawal tower on the Deschutes River.Besides acting as a sort of canary in the coal mine for river ecosystems, the bugs feed birds and the fish that lure anglers for fishing — and have drawn attention as a way to help gauge the river’s health.PGE operates
Bugs take spotlight in Deschutes River issues
07/07/2016
Efforts to reintroduce salmon on the Deschutes River have not yet resulted in numbers to support a sustainable run, and recent concerns have questioned the fish passage operations and the river’s water quality — but restoring the upstream salmon may just take time. Portland General Electric operates a dam complex — three hydroelectric dams and reservoirs, completed in 1964 — that stretches about 20 miles along the Deschutes River just west of Madras. The complex
Restoring fish runs on Deschutes a work in progress
06/19/2016
A state environmental regulatory body wants more details from Portland General Electric on its recent water quality analysis of the lower Deschutes River after finding “serious shortcomings” in the company’s report. PGE operates a complex of dams on the Deschutes River, along with facilities meant to help fish. Those include the selective water withdrawal system at Round Butte Dam, a 273-foot underwater tower that started operating in 2009 and aims to mimic the river’s natural
State finds “serious shortcomings” in PGE water quality report
06/07/2016
The Deschutes River Alliance has sued Portland General Electric, saying the utility’s operation of its dams along the Deschutes River has harmed water quality and violated the Clean Water Act.

Portland General Electric operates a dam complex — three hydroelectric dams and reservoirs, completed in 1964 — that stretches about 20 miles along the Deschutes River just west of Madras. The Pelton Round Butte Hydroelectric Project also includes facilities meant to help fish, such as the selective water withdrawal tower.

In 2009, PGE and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, a Round Butte Dam co-owner, built the 273-foot, $100 million underwater tower and fish-collection facility at Round Butte Dam. The tower draws warmer water from the surface and colder water from the bottom of Lake Billy Chinook, attracts fish into the fish-collection facility through ramps near the water’s surface and sends the water through the dam to power turbines that generate electricity.

The lawsuit filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Oregon contends that the tower’s operations have harmed downstream water. Deschutes River Alliance argued that the utility has violated standards for temperature, dissolved oxygen and other factors that were established to help ensure the project does not degrade water quality. In a statement, the alliance argued that the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has not enforced the project’s water quality standards.

The group called the lawsuit a last resort and a necessary step toward restoring the river.

In a statement, PGE emphasized elements of the project meant to help restore the salmon and steelhead runs and argued that the effort is a long-term one. Restoring an ecosystem that was fundamentally changed 50 years ago with the dams’ installation will take time and investment, the utility said.

PGE also objected to arguments that it had violated the Clean Water Act, saying it has not been notified by government agencies of such violations.

“We believe we are in compliance,” said Stan Sittser, a PGE spokesman.

The lawsuit called for requiring PGE to stop running the dam complex in a way that continues the Clean Water Act violations that Deschutes River Alliance contends have been occurring. It also calls for PGE to provide the group with the dam-related reports it submits to government agencies and for PGE to pay environmental restoration costs related to water degradation that any violations helped cause.

The alliance has previously warned of declines in the population of different types of aquatic insects and an increase of algae that affects certain bugs, since the tower started operating.

— Reporter: 541-617-7812,

hcorrigan@bendbulletin.com

Source:http://www.bendbulletin.com/localstate/4587006-151/river-group-sues-pge-over-dam-operations

Leave a Reply

  

  

  

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>