The Deschutes River Alliance scored a victory in court last week in its lawsuit against Portland General Electric. The lawsuit, filed last year, alleges that PGE is violating some tenets of the Clean Water Act via its facility at the Pelton Round Butte Hydroelectric Project.
In that suit, DRA alleges that PGE's facility was responsible, at least in part, for elevated water temperatures and poor water quality in the Lower Deschutes, downriver from the PGE facility.
This spring, Federal District Court Judge Michael H. Simon ruled in favor of DRA in the case. DRA Executive Director Jonah Sandford said the ruling affirmed "the right of citizens to enforce water quality violations at hydroelectric projects." PGE appealed the judge's decision, but last week the Ninth Circuit denied that appeal request, allowing the case to move forward.
Sandford told the Source Weekly that the judge's decision "sets important precedent for citizens and organizations around the country who are concerned about water quality in rivers impacted by hydroelectric projects."