Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
May 25, 2018
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality invites the public to comment on the proposed section 401 water quality certification for the removal of the J.C. Boyle Dam, reservoir, powerhouse and all other infrastructure related to the existing Lower Klamath Project. DEQ will hold two public hearings on Tuesday, June 12 at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. at the Oregon Institute of Technology's College Union Auditorium. View the full public notice for details on the public comment period at: http://www.oregon.gov/deq/get-involved/documents/070618Klamathpn.pdf.
From Senator Linthicum:
"KBRA is defunct
But, following Gov. Brown & Brown’s desire to blow the dams, ODEQ has decided they need to have public comment on Dam Removal. So, technically, it isn’t a KBRA issue, but rather, it is a section 401 issue regarding water quality, turbidity and damage to spawning habitat that may occur due to discharges of debris and sediment held behind the structures.
Since they have labeled the water in the upper reaches (namely Upper Klamath Lake and the Reclamation projects) “severely impaired” then that poor-quality water would be washed downstream into the Klamath River system and very little of it would actually make it all the way out to the salty Pacific. Using their own scientific assessment, this is clearly a bad idea.
Now, add to that, the demolition debris and the toxic sedimentary loads and you have a real problem. There is estimated to be in excess of 20 million cubic yards of accumulated sediment behind these structures. The Draft Environmental Impact Statement did not investigate the seriousness of this potential problem, address any possible mitigation efforts or address the costs associated with these issues.
ODEQ needs to hear your voice. They need to be made aware of the potential problems and our concerns for costly overruns, damages, clean-up and/or mitigation efforts that are omitted from the feel-good narrative of dam removal promoters.
This water quality issue is not easily side-stepped because it is 20 million cubic yards of toxic sediment. That in itself is the equivalent of 2 million ten-yard dump truck loads of silt, sediment and sludge which should be removed. Is ODEQ willing to dump that into the river system? (As an aside, if your company owned 100 dump trucks it would take 20,000 round-trip excursions to remove and discharge that much debris somewhere on our pristine landscape. Wait until the “NIMBY/NOMR” voices erupt with those possibilities (Not-In-My-Back-Yard/Not-On-My-Reservation). Also, it would require 10,000 hours of excavator time on the fill-side, with who knows what on the dispersal side.)
Or, just let that debris clog the river. Then, only the existing downstream salmon fisheries will bear the burden from this harmful sludge. ODEQ needs to hear this story from all our friends and neighbors.
Removal of the dams is a bad idea because the resulting debris and sediment will wash into the river system. Plus, there won’t be any reservoirs available for flushing-flows or regulating the volume of dilution flows and the result will be degraded river conditions (low DO, increased primary productivity, elevated pH, unionized ammonia issues, increased turbidity, etc., etc.)
ODEQ needs your voice to be heard, after all, you will get stuck with the bill.
Oregon District 28
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