Siskiyou public attends KRRC open house
Siskiyou Daily News 11/9/17 by
Klamath River Renewal Corporation held an open house style
meeting in Yreka Wednesday night, and was greeted by a group of
locals expressing their dissatisfaction with the group’s aim:
Taking out four dams on the Klamath River.
The nonprofit organization KRRC was formed in 2016 for the
purpose of having four of utility company PacifiCorp’s dams on
the Klamath transferred to its ownership and then removed. Those
dams – J.C. Boyle in Oregon and Iron Gate, Copco 1 and Copco 2 –
were first targeted for removal in the Klamath Hydroelectric
Originally, the KHSA called for the removal of the dams in a
process requiring some authorizing legislation from Congress.
When the legislature failed to pass such legislation, the KHSA
was amended and called instead for the Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission to decide whether the dams will be transferred and
destroyed. FERC is the agency typically responsible for making
regulatory decisions related to dam projects.
KRRC has already held public forums across Siskiyou County in
recent months, and last night, the organization invited the
public to the Best Western Miner’s Inn Convention Center in
Yreka to discuss the project moving forward.
The format featured no formal presentations or public comment
period, but instead included various stations with information
about the process. Attendees – a number of whom brought signs
expressing their opposition to the removal of the dams – shared
their thoughts and concerns, including concerns that the meeting
was a way for KRRC to say it held public forums without
gathering meaningful input.
In addition to discussions with KRRC board members, attendees
were treated to informational pamphlets, one of which detailed
the organization’s timeline for potential dam removal, if
approved by FERC.
The timeline chart displays a number of review processes running
concurrently: FERC’s process for approving or denying the dam
transfer and decommissioning applications, the Water Quality
Certification processes in Oregon and California – on which FERC
must rely – FERC’s National Environmental Policy Act review
process, and other environmental permitting. In addition,
baseline monitoring and field studies are listed as having
already begun in concurrence with the aforementioned processes.
The timeline notes that KRRC expects to begin soliciting and
contracting for construction services as early as the start of
2018, although it shows FERC’s determination process not being
complete until late 2019, at the earliest. It also shows that
KRRC expects to begin dam removal beginning in 2020, which is
the date set by the amended KHSA.
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