Miocene fund intact

PG&E flips position, agrees to keep water-access funding intact for Miocene Canal user

Photo by Scott C. Shaw

While PG&E has yet to announce a decision regarding the repair of the historic Miocene Canal—which is owned by PG&E and was destroyed by the Camp Fire—Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey told county supervisors last week that the utility will not subtract costs for its repair studies from funds allocated for water access.

For almost three years, farmers, ranchers and families living adjacent to the out-of-commission canal (pictured) have been without their main source of water. In the interim, PG&E has delivered water to those affected, but it’s been well short of pre-fire volume. As a result, the land has gone dry and orchards have been dying.

In 2020, PG&E’s then-CEO Bill Johnson promised $15 million toward water access over the next five years, but PG&E then proceeded to subtract the costs to deliver water and conduct canal repair studies—$2.1 million thusfar. During his update at the Oct. 26 Board of Supervisors meeting, Ramsey said he spoke with PG&E attorneys who confirmed that the utility will not dip into the $15 million for those costs (which a PG&E spokesperson also confirmed to the CN&R).

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