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Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
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by Dr. Richard Gierak, Yreka 1/26/12

Removal of these dams will seriously affect the flows and riparian regions along the Klamath River violating the “Wild and Scenic Rivers Act” passed by Congress in 1968. The release of 20 million cubic yards of toxic sludge into a “Wild and Scenic River” (Designated Reach: January 19, 1981. From the mouth to 3600 feet below Iron Gate Dam) will seriously affect the conditions of the river at the time of designation.

“2. Existing Hydroelectric Facilities (Licensed by the FERC)In the rare instances where an existing hydroelectric facility is included in a designated river corridor, modifying or re-licensing of the facility is not prohibited by the Act. The river administering agency should evaluate the proposed modification or re-license application to ensure that proposed operations protect or enhance river-related values under the “direct and adverse” effects standard. The baseline for evaluation of existing hydroelectric facilities is the project’s configuration and operation at the time of the river’s designation as subsequently modified through FERC processes.”

“An existing hydroelectric facility is being relicensed upstream of a designated river. The licensee proposes changes in project configuration and operation.

Section 7 applies specifically to hydroelectric projects licensed by the FERC. For projects below, above or on stream tributary to the designated river corridor, the river-administering agency would evaluate the effects of the proposal on scenic, recreational, fish and wildlife values present in the designated river at the date of designation. The standard of evaluation is whether the proposal would “unreasonably diminish” these stated values.” There is no doubt that the proposals for dam removals would seriously diminish the stated values as designated in 1981



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