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Two-Basin Partnership asks for more time to plan takeover of Potter Valley Project

September 16, 2021 — The coalition of entities that wants to take over the license for the Potter Valley Project is asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to give it until May of next year to refine its plans. The project consists of Scott Dam and Lake Pillsbury in Lake County and Cape Horn Dam and van Arsdale Reservoir in Potter Valley. That’s where a diversion sends water from the Eel River into the Russian River and Lake Mendocino. The project is owned by PG&E, which decided not to renew its license in January of 2019. That led the Mendocino County Inland Water and Power Commission, itself a multi-jurisdictional entity, to team up with the Sonoma County Water Agency, Round Valley Indian Tribes, and environmental advocacy group California Trout to form the two-basin partnership to take over the project. The expectation has been that Scott Dam will be removed and Lake Pillsbury drained, but that the diversion would continue, in an effort to find a compromise between providing water to  fish and the people who have grown to rely on the diversion.

Redgie Collins is the legal and policy director for CalTrout. He spoke on behalf of his organization a few days ago.

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