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Dam Decision by September 30?

Letter: PacifiCorp meetings with officials have gone well

by Ty BEAVER, Herald and News, July 17, 2008

   A letter from state and federal officials to Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement authors says a final decision on PacifiCorp-owned dams is expected by Sept. 30.
   According to a letter dated July 9, meetings with the Portland-based utility have been positive, and government officials hope to brief those who drafted the restoration agreement in early August. The agreement allocates water in the Klamath River watershed among fisheries, tribes, farmers and conservationists. It also advocates removal of PacifiCorp’s four dams.
   “It is our goal to secure your support for the (agreement in principle) and to afford those parties who support (it) to remain engaged through the development of the final agreement,” the letter states.
   A PacifiCorp spokesman confirmed that company and government officials are discussing transferring ownership of the dams, but said the dates provided in the letter indicate optimism on the government’s part.
   “We’ve had productive talks, and we’ve agreed to keep talking,” said spokesman Art Sasse.
   Process triggers talks
   PacifiCorp is in the process of re-licensing its four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River. The relicensing process triggered talks with stakeholders in the region who drafted the water settlement agreement that advocates dam removal.
   The letter, signed by Michael Bogert of the U.S. Department of the Interior, resources secretary Mike Chrisman of California and Michael Carrier of the Oregon governor’s office, said government positions and perspectives were based on the proposed restoration agreement. Meetings have produced preliminary agreement on several key issues.
   Sasse said PacifiCorp has consistently expressed its desire to do what is best for the communities around the dams so long as Pacifi-Corp and its customers and stockholders were protected.
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