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To: State Water Resources Control Board Feb. 3, 2020
Ms. Michelle Siebal
P.O. Box 2000
Sacramento, CA 95812-2000
From: Jerry L. Bacigalupi
Professional Engineer (P.E.)
P.O. Box 309
Montague, CA. 96064 (530) 459-5546, (916) 768-5015
Following are my comments to the Recirculated Draft EIR for the Lower Klamath Project License Surrender EIR, FERC Project # 14803
As a Registered Engineer and former State Employee with Caltrans Hydraulics and Hydrology Section and the Resources Agency and in private practice, I was responsible for drainage analysis and designs, the preparation and analysis of Environmental Impact Reports (EIRs) and Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPPs). The Department of Interior (DOI) and States of Calif. and Oregon have failed to prepare and complete 401 Clean Water Act and environmental studies to legal and acceptable standards that comply with the standards set forth in the EIS/EIR and 401 requirements for the following reasons:
1) I am disappointed at the professional integrity within the DOI and State Agencies. In reviewing several of the EIS/EIR comments submitted to the DOI and State and Federal Agencies responses, I am disturbed at the lack of professional knowledge and goal-oriented responses supporting dam removals, not supporting the intent of Clean Water Act section 401 and CEQA requirements, and supporting the release of 20+/- million cubic yards of sediment downstream.
2) After reviewing my comments, the DOI responses, and recirculated portions of the Draft Environmental Impact Report, I feel that my comments were not addressed in a responsible professional manner. I would make the same comments again. The point being that the EIR/EIS has not been properly completed because the EIS/EIR process is flawed with responses that lack professional and scientific integrity, and with probable misconduct, all supporting the KRRC, KBRA & KHSA (Dam Removals). In addition, viable alternatives with dams in place were not studied, and the facts that the Upper Basin Water Wars and the Klamath Hydro-Electric Facilities are not physically related. The KBRA & KHSA improperly mandated stakeholders agreeing to Hydro- Electric Dam Facility removals.
3) I would also like to address my original highlighted comment on #5 Flood Control Protection Provided by the Dams proposed for removal and DOI response (Comment 6 Hydrology). To quote my comment: “In Chapter 3 - 3.6 Flood Hydrology of the EIR/EIS, data provided does not accurately represent current independent scientific or historical data. The data and conclusions presented was data that supports the Lead Agencies’ desired outcomes and not supported by recognized engineering practices.
a) Table 3.6-5 shows the 100-yr flows at Keno at 11,800cfs and Iron Gate at 31,460cfs. A statistical analysis using data from Calif. Division of Dam Safety shows 100-yr. flows for Keno at 12,000cfs and Iron Gate at 30,600cfs. This is a close check, however; Table 3.6-9 shows a 6.9% reduction in the flood attenuation of Iron Gate and COPCO Reservoirs combined.
This is in substantial disagreement with an engineered independent evaluation. Using the 1964 flood data for Gage 11516530 (29,400cfs peak flow at Iron Gate) an inflow out flow hydrograph combining both reservoirs shows a 22% reduction in peak flow and a 9-hour delay in peak discharge.
b) Table 3.6-9, the 100-yr. flood plain below Iron Gate Reservoir, and the write up needs to be recalculated and re-evaluated using properly engineered procedures for inflow/outflow analysis based on historic hydrographs and professional engineering analysis to show that the Dams Provide Critical Flood Protection.
The DOI Response to my comment:
GP_LT_1230_1220-6 Master Response HYDG-1 Flood Protection. The comment author refers to an analysis of the 1964 flood
documented in a memo delivered to Siskiyou County (Bacigalupi,
2010). In this analysis, it was concluded that Iron Gate Dam and
Copco Dam reduce the 100-yr flood by 22 percent. However, a
time step of 3 hours was used in Bacigalupi (2010), which’is too
large and this caused errors in the results. If the same analysis
was performed with a time step of 15 minutes or smaller, the flood
attenuation effects would be very similar to Reclamation (2D12b)
and find that the attenuation of the 100-yr is near 7 percent as
stated in the Draft EIS/EIR.
My comment to the DOI response:
The same analysis was performed using the same computerized program, same data, and varying the time steps of the inflow outflow hydrograph as suggested by the DOI. The results are as follows:
Time Step Inflow Outflow Peak Flow Delay Increase In Flow Remarks
Hr. cfs cfs Hr. With Out Dams
3 35,700 29,400 9 22 Original
1 36,800 29,400 10 25 1Hr. Steps
.25(15min.) 37,250 29,400 10.25 26.7 15min. Steps
The above results show that the DOI makes rudimentary conclusion and statements that are in error and that have definite impacts on the decision of dam removals. The Dams do provide substantial (26.7%) flood protection. Table 3.6-9, the 100yr. flood plain and write up needs to be revised.
Recent legislation passed in 2007, AB 70 (Ch. 367) and AB 162 (Ch. 369) expands the requirement for cities and counties to incorporate flood control and management and provides that a city or county may be required to contribute its fair and reasonable share of the property damage caused by flooding, including State and Federal Government caused flooding by dam removals. As such, it is a critical legal and budgetary matter of the local city and county governing bodies to not only be included in this process, but to also weigh in on the final decisions in this matter. The Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors did not sign the KBRA & KHSA for such matters and the Lead Agencies have failed to consider this and other important matters addressed herein. The impact of this legislation and dam removals on Siskiyou County was not addressed in the environmental documents.
4. The EIR/EIS fails to consider logical scientifically supported impacts and mitigation measures related to the removal the sedimentation during and after dam removal. This failure leads to an unnecessary risk presented to the public and the environment.
CEQA Section: 21002.1 (b) states: “Each public agency shall mitigate or avoid the significant effects on the environment of projects that it carries out or approves whenever it is feasible to do so.”
Per the EIR/EIS section3.2.1 Sediment Removal to quote: “If analysis indicates that the release of sediment could result in significant effects, the EIS/EIR may include consideration of dredging sediments out of the reservoirs before removing the dams if this measure is determined to be feasible. Dredging would focus on the area within the new river area; sediment remaining above the new stream level would only require removal if the slopes would not be stable.”
“Once dredging began, the spoils would be pumped to a detention area near the reservoir for the sediments to dry. Dredging and the mechanical removal of sediment from the reservoirs would require equipment in addition to that needed for dam removal. This additional equipment would include barges, dredges, and pumps.
Storing the spoils after removal from the reservoirs would require an area of sufficient size to allow the sediment to be spread and dried.”
a) This option:(complete dam and sediment removals), is the only viable option to mitigate the sediment impacts on the River and is not on the table because of predetermined conclusions that funding would not be approved or available to support the actual projected cost. This is the reason that Alternative 3 (Partial removal of 4 dams) was selected as the: Environmentally Preferable/Superior Alternative. ???
i) Initial sediment study: 20.4 million cubic yards with 84% washing down river
ii) DOI sediment analysis: 13.1 million cubic yards with 41 to 65% washing
iii) To put sediment volume in perspective:
From below Iron Gate to the ocean assuming a river bottom width of 150 feet and a length of 190 miles
Initial sediment study average depth 3.1 feet depth
DOI sediment analysis average depth 1.0 to 1.5 feet depth ??
b) The California State Water Quality Control Board and Department of Fish and Game, and the U.S. Corps of Engineers under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act and CDFG code 1600 et seq. regulate all construction projects involving disturbed soil, within a drainage watercourse.
How does the DOI & CDFG plan to comply with these laws and regulations??
Why are these laws and regulations not being complied with and addressed in this EIR/EIS??
5. The following Siskiyou County environmentally preferable and superior alternative was not properly considered; Alternative 11 (Fish Bypass: Alternative Tunnel Route) to quote the write up in the EIS/EIR:
“3.11 Alternative 11 – Fish Bypass: Alternative Tunnel Route
This alternative would use a combination of natural drainages and a constructed tunnel to provide a migratory passage for anadromous species around Copco 1, Copco 2, and Iron Gate Dams while leaving the dams in place. This alternative also includes improvements to fish passage facilities at J.C. Boyle Dam to allow upstream and downstream passage. This alternative would allow continued power generation at the Four Facilities, but the Hydropower Licensee would need to obtain a new FERC license to continue operations. This alternative bypass would route upmigrating fish into Bogus Creek into an approximately five-mile tunnel that would connect Bogus Creek to Copco 1 Reservoir. The tunnel would connect to Bogus Creek at stream mile 2.9, well downstream of the existing fish ladder on the creek and the confluence with Cold Creek (Bacigalupi and Lake 2010) (Figure 3-8). The proposed tunnel would be 16 feet wide by 12 feet high and would contain a 4 foot wide by 2 foot deep fish channel on one side. Larger ―rest areas‖ for the migrating fish would be placed every 250 feet, and vertical shafts would be installed at regular intervals to provide natural light to the channel (Bacigalupi and Lake 2010). The proposed gradient of the channel would be less than one percent, and flow would be above 10 cfs. A floating entrance structure at Copco 1 Reservoir would provide water and fish access to the tunnel. The structure would float with the level of the lake to provide a year round water supply regardless of the level of the reservoir, as well as serve as the access to the tunnel for anadromous species.
The proposal addresses some of the issues associated with Alternative 10, the Bogus Creek Bypass route: the tunnel would allow migrating salmonids to swim in a consistently upstream direction, as the tunnel would be drilled to connect the reservoir with the downstream tributary. In addition, it would not require a new water supply or negotiations, as would the bypass in the fully appropriated Cold Creek (in Alternative 10), because water for Alternative 11 would be supplied from Copco 1 Reservoir. Finally, the tunnel might provide more capacity for the large numbers of migrating salmonids than the smaller drainages of Clear and Deer Creeks.”
Page 4-11 (4.2.11) clearly states that it does not meet consideration because it is not consistent with the requirements of the KBRA and KHSA as it would not remove any of the four dams.
Alternative 11 (Fish Bypass: Alternative Tunnel Route) is identified by Siskiyou County as the environmentally preferable alternative that would result in a cost of 1/6 the cost of installing fish ladders, 5% the cost of dam removals, and the fewest adverse effects to the biological and physical environment.
The above write up by the DOI and CDFG for alternative 11 appears to have all the merits for the Environmentally Preferable/Superior Alternative that would result in the fewest adverse effects to the biological and physical environment. It is also the alternative that would best protect, preserve, and enhance historic, cultural, and natural resources.
THIS ALTERNATIVE IS SUPPORTED BY 82% OF SISKIYOU AND 72% OF KLAMATH COUNTIES AND MUST BE RE-CONSIDERED under CEQA and NEPA requirements not dependent on predetermined, undisclosed secrete KBRA/KHSA agreements that require Dams to be Removed.
1. Coho Truck and Haul Studies above J.C. Boyle Dam were demanded but refused by the DOI, probably because they realized anadromous habitat did not exist. A common analogy is that the only way Coho juveniles can get back from the tributaries of Upper Lake to the ocean is to become flying fish. This study must be completed to support Dam Removals. Without this study the environmental documents fail and will initiate MAJOR LAWSUITS.
2. The environmental documents are incomplete. (Fail to analyze alternatives with Dams in place). (Fail to provide a Cost Benefit Analysis). Including substantial crop and property value losses to Farmers and Ranchers due to unjustified DOI water cutoffs.
3. The release of 20 +/- million cubic yards of toxic sediments retained behind the Dams down river is irresponsible, violates the 401 Clean Water Act, and requires the preparation of a “Storm Water Pollution Pretention Plan”. It will decimate river habitat for decades. It is irresponsible that sediment removal by dredging has been abandoned because of cost!!
4. The Calif. Division of Dam Safety under existing law requires that Dam Removal Plans be submitted and approved and verify Dam Removal Plans and Conditions are followed.
5. Siskiyou and Klamath Counties have and are mandated (within their existing regulations and public safety authorities) to require and approve Klamath River Dam Removal Permits (They are not preempted by State and Federal Governments)
6. The DOI and State Agencies have circumvented State and Federal Laws by certifying bogus scientific studies to justify dam removals, commonly cited by recognized professional Biologist, Scientist and Engineers as SWAGs (Scientific Wild Ass Guesses)
7. The Flood Control provided by the Dams proposed for removals is substantial: My 100-yr. flood calculation, based on the 1964 flood hydrograph, reduces peak flow by 26%. My 100-yr. peak inflow of 37,000 cfs should be lower than what is being used below Iron Gate Dam for the Klamath River flows for the Lower Klamath Project. (Table 3.6-9 shows that the Dams only provides a 6.9% reduction in flood attenuation). This is in error based on the Division of Dam Safety 1964 flood Hydrograph. The DOI analysis for flooding below I.G, Dam needs recalculation and redistribution.
8. The Draft EIR fails to consider feasible and public supported Alternatives with the Dams remaining in place.
9. The California dams have been recently inspected by the Division of Dam Safety and are in good condition. and provide an average yearly water quality improvement.
10. Given the condition of a complete Klamath River cutoff by the DOI or a severe drought, the dams can also provide CDFG/CFW’s 700 cfs minimum instream river flows for a three-month period with adequate storage retained for Lake Habitat.
11. Siskiyou and Klamath Counties, and the Cities within, have the statutory responsibility to provide and protect the public’s interest and safety to all citizens and protect the environment for present and future generations. Through proper and legal voting procedures in 2010, the voting populous of Siskiyou Co. (79.04%), and in 2016 Klamath Co. (72%), OVERWHELMINGLY voted to retain the Klamath River Dams and Hydroelectric Facilities.
Failure of the EIR to address the above listed documentations, studies and permits required violates existing laws and EIR environmental requirements and WILL INVOLVE MAJOR LAWSUITS.
Jerry L. Bacigalupi P.E. (RCE 18,063)
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