5/6/10 In the water board's rejection letter, Deputy Director of Water Rights Victoria Whitney writes that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has authority over the project -- and changes must come through its licensing process. She claimed that a 2004 license amendment only reserved FERC's right to make changes to the license in the future, but did not delegate authority to the state.

The 2004 order says that whether Eel River diversions are consistent with California law must be decided by state authorities, “and it is not our intention to interfere with any actions they may take with respect to water rights.”

In a statement, Friends of the Eel River attorney Ellison Folk said that the state board took too narrow a view of its authority to require responsible use of the water and to protect salmon.

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