The Deschutes River Alliance’s lawsuit against Portland General Electric is headed back to court. After months of fruitless court-supervised negotiations, the DRA’s important Clean Water Act lawsuit is now quickly moving forward again. 2018 will be a critical year in our fight to protect and restore the lower Deschutes River.
In the course of negotiations, DRA offered a comprehensive solution to PGE’s operation of the Pelton Round Butte Project—a solution we believed, based on all available data, would lead to dramatic improvements in water quality below the dams and to a resolution of the Project’s regular water quality violations. PGE rejected DRA’s proposals, and made no meaningful effort to resolve the problems in the lower river that have been created with tower operations.
Now, we are moving aggressively ahead. On February 26, the DRA’s attorneys will be filing a Motion for Summary Judgment, asking the court to find PGE in violation of its Clean Water Act certification for the Pelton Round Butte complex. The DRA has identified nearly 1,700 violations of the certification, which was designed to protect the water quality and ecological health of the lower Deschutes River. Oral arguments on this motion are scheduled for July. If successful, the DRA will then ask the court for a remedy to these frequent violations that will lead to improved water quality in the lower river.
The hard work starts now. The lawsuit we are engaged in is an essential component of the DRA’s advocacy efforts on behalf of the lower Deschutes River and the fish, wildlife, and people who call it home. And the next steps in this litigation, over the coming months, will be critical to the DRA’s efforts to restore cool, clean water below the Pelton Round Butte Project. Keep an eye on the blog for more updates on this important case.
As always, this fight wouldn’t be possible without the support of our many hundreds of contributors—the individuals, businesses, foundations, and allied organizations who are not ready to give up on a healthy future for the lower Deschutes River. As we pivot back to court, we need your support more than ever. Please join us at our second annual benefit auction in February, and make a contribution today to support our battle for the Deschutes River.
Deschutes River Alliance: Cooler, cleaner H2O for the lower Deschutes River.
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