Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
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Response by Marcia Armstrong, Siskiyou County Supervisor
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.
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