Our Mission

The Protect Our Communities Foundation defends communities and nature in San Diego County, Imperial County, and Northern Baja California from harmful energy projects and advances better energy solutions through advocacy and law.

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The Protect Our Communities Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. Donations are tax deductible as allowed by law.

Progress Report

February 8, 2011 A new lawsuit challenging the California State Water Resources Board challenging a decision by the water board wrongly certifying that the powerlink will not harm downstream water quality and will otherwise comply with the federal Clean Water Act. You can read the lawsuit here and the supporting exhibits are listed below:
Exhibit-1
Exhibit-2
Exhibit-3
Exhibit-4
Exhibit-5
January 20, 2011 A new lawsuit challenging the BLM over rushed environmental review and permits for the huge Imperial Valley Solar Project has been filed buy POC’s attorney. You can read the lawsuit here.
January 14, 2011 Our attorney has filed our lawsuit in federal court against the Department of Agriculture based on the Cleveland National Forest’s approval of the Sunrise Powerlink. You can read the lawsuit here.
November 10, 2010 Our attorney has sent an application to the CPUC requesting a rehearing of the Sunrise Powerlink Project Modification Report. The application can be read here and our attorney’s letter of Declaration can be read here.
November 10, 2010 POC Attorney has sent a letter to the US Army Corps of Engineers regarding San Diego Gas & Electric’s Application for a Clean Water Act Section 404 Nationwide Permit for Its Sunrise Powerlink Transmission Project The letter outlines the concerns that watershed impacts have not been adequately studied or mitigated. The letter can be read here.
November 9, 2010 In response to SDG&E’s motion to dismiss our case against the BLM in federal court, our attorney has filed a First Amended Complaint for Declatory and Injunctive Relief in US District Court. The complaint can be read here.
November 9, 2010 Our attorney sent a letter to the US Fish and Wildlife Service asking for adequate protection for avian species when siting wind turbines. The letter can be read here a.
September 27, 2010 A comment letter has been sent by POC’s attorney to the California Energy Commission regarding IV Solar Presiding Member’s Proposed Decision. The letter was sent on behalf of POC, ECCAC, BAD, and the Desert Protective Council (DPC). The letter can be read here.
September 17, 2010 A letter from POC’s attorney was sent today to the Corps of Engineers regarding its section 404 permit process for the Sunrise Powerlink project. It asks the Corps of Engineers to deny the permit for SDG&E’s Sunrise Powerlink project. The letter can be read here.
August 27, 2010 POC’s attorney has submitted an appeal to the Forest Service decision approving the Sunrise Powerlink on forest land. The appeal can be read here.
July 27, 2010 A comment letter has been sent by POC’s attorney to the California Energy Commission regarding the Imperial Valley Solar Project, which is a connected action to the Sunrise Powerlink. The letter was sent on behalf of POC, ECCAC, BAD, and the Desert Protective Council (DPC). The letter can be read here.
June 29, 2010 The attorney for three community groups (POC, ECCAC, and BAD) has sent a comment letter to Cleveland National Forest Supervisor William Metz calling for rejection of the Sunrise Powerlink transmission across the forest and describing in detail the numerous legal conflicts between the powerlink and the forest’s overarching management plan. The letter is part of the public record during the 45 day Forest Service comment period. You can read the letter here.
June, 2010 Letters have been sent to the Forest Service during the official comment period by the following: Congressman Bob Filner, Congressman, Duncan Hunter, Sierra Club San Diego The letters are available here:
Congressman Filner letter
Congressman Hunter letter
Sierra Club San Diego letter
April 13, 2010 Congressman Bob Filner send a letter to Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar urging that the BLM conduct a new comprehensive EIS of the Southern Route and asking for the removal of Assistant Secretary David Hayes (a former SEMPRA lobbyist) from any decisions related to SEMPRA and the Sunrise Powerlink. The letter can be read here.
February 16, 2010 POC, along with Backcountry Against Dumps, East County Community Action Coalition, and Donna Tisdale, filed a federal lawsuit challenging the decision of the US Bureau of Land Management to approve the Sunrise Powerlink. The complaint can be read here and the press release can be read here.
December 14, 2009 POC’s attorney sent a letter to the State Water Board requesting they deny SDG&E’s application for a water quality permit for the Sunrise Powerlink project. Included as an exhibit is a letter from a professional geologist. You can read the letter here and the exhibit letter here.
November 18, 2009 POC’s attorney sent a Scoping Letter on the US Department of Energy’s Energia Sierra Jaurez Transmission Line Environmental Impact Statement, on behalf of POC and other groups. Energia Sierra Juarez is a connected action to the Sunrise Powerlink. You can read the letter here.
October 8, 2009 POC’s attorney sent a letter to the BLM and Fish and Wildlife Service today with information about how SDG&E has violated the Biological Opinion from the Sunrise Powerlink EIR, and the steps they need to take to mitigate these violations. You can read the letter here.There are also image attachements listed below. In addition, another letter was sent to the Forest Service which can be read here.
Image attachement to BLM/FWS letter:
Attachment 1
Attachment 2
Attachment 3
Attachment 4
September 23, 2009 POC’s attorney sent a follow up letter to the Forest Service today with more recommendations about why they need to reject approving the Sunrise Powerlink on Forest Service land, including the fact that the EIR ignored Forest recommendations. You can read the letter here.
September 14, 2009 Today POC, along with Backcountry Against Dumps and the East County Community Action Coalition filed a protest letter with the PUC regarding SDG&E’s proposed ECO Substation. The ECO Substation is a connected action with the Sunrise Powerlink and we will continue to monitor and comment on this project. You can read the protest letter here.
July 30, 2009 – San Diego, CA Congressman Duncan Hunter (52st District, CA) sent a letter to Cleveland National Forest Supervisor William Metz, asking him to exhaust all options before considering approval of the Sunrise Powerlink through National Forest land. The letter can be read here. In addition, Congressman Filner has sent additional letters to the Secretary of Agriculture and Secretary of the Interior regarding Sunrise Powerlink. Those letters can be viewed here.
July 28, 2009 – San Diego, CA Congressman Bob Filner (51st District, CA) sent a letter to three US Forest Service Officials, including Cleveland National Forest Supervisor William Metz, urging them to reject approval of the Sunrise Powerlink through National Forest land. The letter can be read here. POC is urging Congressman Duncan Hunter (52nd District, CA) to send a similar letter to the Forest Service before they make their decision.
July 15, 2009 – San Diego, CA A panel of federal administrative law judges dealt a major blow to the Sunrise Powerlink power line project late Tuesday when they ruled that local opponents had standing to challenge the project and rejected SDG&E’s claim that their appeal was untimely. They also ruled that SDG&E would have to comply with a new timetable delaying construction on the project until at least June 2010. Please read the rest of the Press Release.

Official Documents: IBLA Ruling

July 9, 2009 – San Diego, CA The attorney for three community groups (POC, ECCAC, and BAD) has sent a lengthy letter to Cleveland National Forest Supervisor William Metz calling for rejection of the Sunrise Powerlink transmission across the forest and describing in detail the numerous legal conflicts between the powerlink and the forest’s overarching management plan. Please read the rest of the Press Release and our letter Supervisor Metz.

Official Documents:Forest Service Letter from POC Attorney, Forest Service Letter enclosure

June 23, 2009 – San Diego, CA A resolution was brought to the County Board of Supervisors to draft a letter to the California Public Utilities Commission opposing the SDG&E Shut Off Plan. During the proceedings, two speakers spoke in opposition of the resolution, one of them being an official from SDG&E. 22 people spoke in support, and several more did not speak but supported the resolution in writing.

Three POC Board Members spoke during the hearing, and after a brief discussion, the Board voted 4-0 (Ron Roberts was not present) in support of the resolution. Thanks go out to Diane Jacob and Pam Slater-Price for bring this resolution to the Board and to Greg Cox and Bill Horn for supporting it. The administrative law judge is expected to make a ruling in July, and the CPUC will take up the matter before the fall fire season.

March 24, 2009 – Boulevard, CA An appeal to the U.S. Department of the Interior over its Bureau of Land Management (BLM) approval of San Diego Gas & Electric’s Sunrise Powerlink transmission project was filed Monday by three local organizations in San Diego County. The appeal notice to the Interior Board of Land Appeals is the first step to a court appeal.

It shows that the BLM failed to adequately conduct environmental reviews and therefore BLM’s decision to approve the project should be reviewed. The BLM’s Record of Decision on January 20, 2009 approved the controversial 150-mile transmission line that will bulldoze its way through communities and sensitive lands in Imperial and San Diego Counties.

Official Documents: Notice of Appeal, Request for Stay