The Deschutes River Alliance, which monitors water quality in the lower 100 miles of the Deschutes River, has sent a 60-day notice of intent to sue to Portland General Electric. The notice cites over 1,200 violations of water quality requirements associated with PGE's Pelton-Round Butte Hydroelectric Complex near Madras.
In a press release, DRA states, "These impacts have come about as a consequence of surface water withdrawal via a selective water withdrawal tower at Round Butte Dam on Lake Billy Chinook. The tower was constructed in an attempt to create surface water currents to attract planted hatchery stock juvenile anadromous fish to the dam. From there the fish are transported by truck around the three dam complex. While these reintroduction efforts have been largely unsuccessful, surface water withdrawal has been responsible for several alarming changes to the ecology of the lower Deschutes River below the dam complex."
The Alliance says it has met 25 times with PGE starting in 2013 to convey its concerns. "PGE never revealed the water quality violations during that time and has not been willing to address the issues raised by DRA."