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Updated, 7 p.m.: (Klamath) Dams would be removed by 2025


State, feds and PacifiCorp agreement scheduled for signing Thursday

November 12, 2008 Herald and News 11/12/08
Posted 7 p.m., Wednesday: What is being billed as the largest salmon restoration ever attempted involves the removal of four Klamath River dams by the year 2020. The project would cost $450 million and be paid for in part with rate increases for PacifiCorp customers.

Officials from the states of Oregon and California, the Bush administration and Portland-based PacifiCorp were expected to sign the agreement by noon Thursday. They briefed Klamath River Basin stakeholders today at a meeting in Sacramento. When signed, the dam removal agreement would be nonbinding until a final agreement is reached, but one PacifiCorp official lauded the document as “remarkable.”

“Our full expectation and commitment is to come to a final agreement,” said Dean Brockbank, vice president and counsel to the PacifiCorp. Read the full story in Thursday's Herald and News print edition. Check back at breaking news for more updates.

Posted 5:05 p.m., Wednesday: Four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River would be removed by 2025 at a cost of $450 million under an agreement scheduled to be signed Thursday.

A press release from the U.S. Department of the Interior called a planned public announcement Thursday “the first critical step down a presumptive path toward a historic resolution of Klamath River resource issues and the Klamath River dams.” Check back later tonight for more updates and read the full story in Thursday's Herald and News print edition.

Posted 2:55 p.m. Wednesday: (AP) — Farmers, Indian tribes, fishermen and state officials have been briefed on a nonbinding agreement for PacifiCorp to turn over control of Klamath River dams so they can be removed to help struggling salmon. The briefing from Bush administration officials took place Wednesday in Sacramento, Calif. A formal announcement is expected Thursday.

According to a copy obtained by The Associated Press, the agreement is a roadmap for starting to remove the dams by 2020, contingent on a favorable cost-benefit analysis, and to allow operations to continue until then.

Posted 11:40 a.m. Wednesday: Klamath County Commissioner Bill Brown said today there is an agreement in principle regarding the removal of four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River. Brown restated his opposition to dam removal — an aspect of the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement — during the commissioners’ public meeting. He said he does not have the document on the agreement but expected to have it soon.

The groups and organizations that crafted the restoration agreement are meeting today in Sacramento. Commissioner John Elliot is attending the meeting as a representative of the county and said today while traveling to Sacramento that he had not yet seen a document concerning dam removal. “That’s going to be the discussion today,” he said. Look for online updates later today and read the full story in Thursday's Herald and News print edition.

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