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Dam removal entity to host open house Tuesday

What: Klamath River Renewal Corporation open house

Where: Mt. Mazama Room, Oregon Tech, 3201 Campus Drive

When: 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday

Those interested in learning more about removal of four dams along the Klamath River are invited to attend an open house hosted by Klamath River Renewable Corpration, the dam removal entity, from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday in the Mt. Mazama Room at Oregon Tech, 3201 Campus Drive, Klamath Falls.

The gathering will be held community forum-style, where Basin residents will have the chance to meet Dave Meurer, KRRC’s community liaison, ask questions related to dams and how the entity plans to facilitate removal of the J.C. Boyle, Copco 1 and 2 and Iron Gate dams.

Meurer, who is based in California, travels the region extensively meeting with interested parties. He was named community liaison in January and serves as the key spokesperson for the San Francisco-based nonprofit.

“I’m kind of the new face in town so it’s my turn to be introduced, explain a little bit of my history and why I joined the project, ” Meurer said.

At least one member of the KRRC board of directors may also be on hand to answer questions from the public.

“The intent is just to provide information and to just respond to questions, and give a status update and try to clarify some of the ongoing questions that we continue to hear or to clear up misperceptions that we continue to hear,” Meurer said.

Meurer also emphasized that KRRC has no discretion or authority to consider alternatives to dam removal.

“We are the dam removal entity that was created by the signatories – California, Oregon, PacifiCorp,” he said. “The signatories have marked out for us so we really can’t entertain alternatives. That is a policy decision.”

Meurer said in a recent interview with the Herald and News that two separate but interrelated applications are pending Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approval regarding dam removal.

Meurer said KRRC will file a “definite plan” moving forward with the process of the estimated $290 million to $300 million dam removal in July and that there could be some “pre-construction activity in 2020.” But the “drawdown of the reservoirs” may not start until tentatively January or February 2021, Meurer said.

“That (2020) was never a locked in stone date,” Meurer said of an original timeline.

Meurer said 2021 is also not “locked in stone” as the start time for the dam removal.

Meurer also said there are a variety of dam removal processes being considered, including the “possibility” of using dynamite.

KRRC last held a public open houser in November with Mark Bransom, executive director of KRRC, and other board of directors present.

Find out more about the nonprofit online at www.klamathrenewal.org





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