Judge rules in favor of PGE in lawsuit over Deschutes water
U.S. District Court Judge Michael H. Simon on Aug. 3 issued his decision in a lawsuit filed in 2016 against Portland General Electric by the Deschutes River Alliance.
The judge found that the undisputed evidence showed that the Pelton Round Butte Hydroelectric Project is operating consistently with the conditions of its water quality certification from the Department of Environmental Quality.
Simon denied a motion from the alliance for partial summary judgment and granted cross-motions for summary judgment filed by PGE and the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs, who co-own the project. With that action, Simon dismissed the lawsuit.
"Judge Simon's decision reflects the complex work we're doing to restore salmon and steelhead runs and improve water quality at Pelton Round Butte and throughout the Deschutes River Basin," said Lisa Kaner, PGE's vice president, general counsel, and corporate compliance officer. "His objective evaluation confirms we're on the right track as we work with our regulators to fulfill the requirements of our water quality certificates."
"Salmon and steelhead runs on the Deschutes are at the heart of our culture. They're a basic necessity for us to continue our traditional way of life," said Bobby Brunoe, natural resources manager for the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. "We understand the heartfelt concerns of the lawsuit's supporters, yet we also understand that a lot of factors influence conditions on the river. We believe strongly that collaborative, science-based decision-making remains the best way we can help the fish, and we're continuing this approach, working with our many partners in the basin. Together with PGE, we welcome good-faith participation from those who want to join in this effort."
About Portland General Electric
Portland General Electric is a fully integrated energy company based in Portland, serving approximately 883,000 customers in 51 cities. For more than 125 years, PGE has been delivering safe, affordable and reliable energy to Oregonians.
Together with its customers, PGE has the No. 1 voluntary renewable energy program in the U.S. With approximately 2,900 employees across the state, PGE is committed to helping its customers and the communities it serves build a clean energy future. For more information, visit PortlandGeneral.com/CleanVision.
About the Confederated Tribes
The government of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs is charged with securing and protecting the perpetual health and prosperity of the Confederated Tribes. The government fulfills its mission by preserving and strengthening the sovereign status of the Confederated Tribes, protecting the treaty and legal rights and interests of the Confederated Tribes, and creating a community and economic environment which affords every member of the Confederated Tribes the opportunity to attain good health, self-sufficiency, pride and self-esteem.