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Location: Redding, CA, United States

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

PGE and Cloud Seeding

PG&E and Cloud Seeding - What in the world are these people thinking.
PG&E, a n energy "producing" company that we have utilizing our tribal territory, is planning on increasing its "rain enhancement" program on the slopes of Mt Shasta. Using silver iodide (in our opinion a toxic substance) they hope to "enhance" the Creator's ability to make it rain. While this may appear on the surface to be a good thing - more rain in an area that is in the middle of a drought is good - using toxic chemicals that have already been found leaching into the ground water and into the fish relatives around Lake Almanor - is not!
Folks, take a look at this issue. Investigate what this company is planning and join us in protesting and hopefully stopping this madness before it is too late.
The Winnemem would love to see more water - flowing freely - in the rivers and streams but we cannot stand by and watch the water we have become toxic for the two legged or our relations who can no longer speak for themselves.
Inserted below is a letter written by our Mt Shasta Representatives Mark and Luisa on behalf of the tribe to the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors. Take a look at it and if you can write your own letter asking for a better assessment of the risks involved in this PGE scheme!

Dear Ms. Barber,

This letter is an official communication from the Winnemem Wintu Tribe regarding the PG&E Pit-McCloud Cloud Seeding-Ground Water Enhancement Project (Project). Our tribe became aware of this Project through an article in a local newspaper and was never contacted or consulted in any manner as an affected tribe prior to this public notice. We are concerned and alarmed that the location of the generators and the Project area are within our traditional tribal boundaries and many sacred ceremonial sites and traditional gathering areas may be directly affected by this Project. We are asking that Siskiyou County require a full environmental review for this Project before it is allowed to begin.

We have outlined our concerns about this Project in the attached letter to the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors, dated November 16, 2008. We have also attached a letter from Dr. Rene Henery that he sent to the Siskiyou County BOS. We understand that your office is now reviewing the Project. We also would like to know why this Project, whose sole operational objective is to release a known toxic substance into the environment, is not regulated under some state or county regulation (such as the the Air Toxics “Hot Spots” Information and Assessment Act of 1987 or other).

In addition to the general concerns outlined in the attached letter, we feel that the generators and their operation need to be closely scrutinized. We initiated one telephone conversation with Byron Marler, Supervisor of the Project, in which he did not deny, nor directly confirm, that contamination of the ground in the immediate vicinity of and immediately downwind of the the generators would be possible and even probable. Mr. Marler suggested that if PG&E knew the location of our sites, they could re-position their generators away from our sites. Though re-positioning the generators might possibly mitigate the effects of silver iodide contamination on our sites, it does not address the fact that high levels of contamination may be produced where ever the generators are situated.

Available information on this Project in particular is minimal and the studies that PG&E uses for justification are, in our opinion, outdated, incomplete or of questionable applicability. We have asked PG&E to send us detailed information, plans and maps, on their Project that would address our concerns. We have yet to receive this information and instead was sent a very general power point presentation intended for the general public.

Although a full environmental review of the Project would be long and expensive, PG&E is well positioned to commission such a study. A full environmental review would go a long way toward assuring our Tribe, our County and its citizens that no environmental damage will occur from this Project. PG&E would also increase their trust and good will with the community as well as increase their research data base for future cloud seeding projects.

In this time of drought in California, more cloud seeding projects may be proposed and implemented and the amounts of toxic silver iodide, tracer chemicals and other cloud seeding chemicals and their frequency of use could increase dramatically. To our knowledge, no government agency issues permits for cloud seeding projects nor is there an oversight agency. The Winnemem Wintu Tribe and other tribes with traditional lands in the Project areas, and the citizens of this County have the Right to Know about projects that release toxic chemicals into our environment. Without some agency oversight, however, our Right to Know is abrogated. Without an environmental review, we may be at the mercy of companies that have terrible legacies of environmental pollution and human misery, such as PG&E.

Thank you for your consideration,

Mark Miyoshi and Luisa Navejas
Winnemem Wintu Tribe
Mt. Shasta District Representatives

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