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Senator Doug Whitsett speech at Yreka's public listening session put on my Department of Interior on the Draft EIS / EIR for Klamath dam removal

October 20, 2011

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission estimated that 20 million cubic yards of sediment has accumulated behind the four Klamath River hydropower dams.

         The Camp, Dresser & McKee report, previously commissioned by the Department of Interior,  suggests that the 20 million cubic yard estimate may be a gross underestimation of the actual amount of sediment.

          We could find no mention in either report of the additional amount of sediment upstream of the Keno Dam.

         The Draft Environmental Impact Statement does not appear to mitigate that 20 million cubic yards of sediment.

         The Department apparently proposes to simply blow the dams and let nature take its course, washing all that sediment downriver.

         They appear to consider this option as a “grand experiment” to see what actually happens.

         That amount of sediment is equivalent to about 2 million ten yard dump truck loads of silt, sediment and organic muck.

         To put that amount into perspective, lined up head to tail, 2 million dump truck loads of river muck would stretch about 12,500miles…..about half way around the planet.

         Stated another way, it would be equivalent to dumping a ten yard truckload of sediment into the River every five minutes, twenty four hour per day, three hundred sixty five days per year, for nearly twenty years.

          It appears that our government regulations have two standards.

          One standard holds private citizens to a standard that severely restricts, or virtually bars, their activities in or near water bodies.

         That standard holds private citizens legally responsible for their actions.

         The other standard allows government entities to do pretty much whatever they wish, so long as their purpose is politically correct, and adheres to the desires of the obstructionist agenda.

         This standard simply chooses to ignore the potential liabilities.

         Further, it attempts to absolve all government parties of legal responsibility.

         How can we justify dumping the equivalent of two million dump truck loads of sediment into the Klamath River to expedite the  politically correct demolition of hydroelectric dams……..

          While at the same time citing and prosecuting foresters, agriculturalists and recreationalists for stirring up a little sediment in their pursuit of making a living or of family entertainment?




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