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The Daily Triplicate May 16, 2008, http://www.triplicate.com:80/news/story.cfm?story_no=8753

Letters: Siskiyou County supervisor is incorrect on Klamath dams, by Karuk Spokesman/anti dam activist Craig Tucker,
response from Siskiyou Supervisor Marcia Armstong

Judging from her May 14 letter to the Triplicate, Siskiyou County Supervisor Marcia Armstrong has completely lost her moral compass as she navigates a losing effort to block the removal of the lower four Klamath River dams.

Mrs. Armstrong cites two studies, one on the toxicity of the sediment behind the dams and another on the volume of sediment. Mrs. Armstrong lifts a passage out of context but neglects to include the studies' conclusion: The studies from outside of the Klamath Basin show that the levels found in the sediments behind the Klamath dams do not appear to be problematic ... the toxic equivalents are generally in the lower range of those noted from elsewhere and are below levels expected to cause any significant effects to fishery resource.

Furthermore the report reads: Dioxin levels in these sediments are not alarming and since the sediments are expected to rapidly pass the Klamath system to the ocean, noticeable effects to fishery resources should not be expected from exposure to dioxins in the sediments if these dams are removed.

All this information is detailed in an April 8, 2008, memo from NOAA's water quality programs coordinator.

The California Coastal Commission filed a sediment study with FERC in 2006 that says: "the toxicity of the sediment in the four lowermost dams is very low and will not affect method or cost of decommissioning." The document goes on to state that "sediment transport would be unlikely to cause flooding."

As we move closer to removal, it is important to note that more comprehensive studies will be performed and publicly reviewed in compliance with state and federal laws.

What I want to know is where was Mrs. Armstrong's concerns for public health last summer when massive blooms of toxic blue green algae behind the dams led agencies to post warnings against touching the Klamath River all the way to the river's mouth? Where was Mrs. Armstrong's concern for public health when it was revealed that the resident perch in the Klamath reservoirs are too toxic to eat due to the algae toxins?

The good news is that the coalition of tribes, fishermen, small towns and farmers intent on removing the dams and fixing the river grows stronger every day. Soon Mrs. Armstrong's lies will be washed out to sea by the mighty Klamath along with the dams and their (non-toxic) sediment.

S. Craig Tucker, Klamath Campaign Coordinator, Karuk Tribe of California


Response by Marcia Armstrong, Siskiyou County Supervisor
for the Daily Triplicate

The analysis I referred to was done by our consultants  Stuart Miner of Brownfield Partners and John Lambie of E-Pur. They were not of my own creation. According to our consultants, the 2006 Klamath River Dam and Sediment Study was not comprehensive, nor did it detail negative impacts. In fact, it listed a large group of additional studies that would need to be done to develop that information. The American Rivers study did not use the accepted and vetted engineering model (HEC-RAS) for sediment transport, nor did it use available detailed topographic reservoir profiles. The model they did use accounted for sand sized sediment, when the majority is silt sized. The study is questionable. The studies done by the California State Coastal Conservancy relied on the defective American Rivers study. They failed to take into account that no study had been done on how the flows will carry the sediment.

A review of sediment bore samples showed some presence of ethylbenzene and creosote compounds. Three bore samples taken in each of the reservoirs indicated that the sediment contains dioxin. Two samples were above human health standards. (You can read about that toxin and its carcinogenic health impacts here
http://www.ejnet.org/dioxin/. ) It is likely that the levels of dioxin could kill the benthic community or bottom ecology of the river and that a large quantity of floating organic toxic waste particles would pollute the mouth of the estuary. 

Marcia Armstrong
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