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Board to look at Klamath dams

by Nathan Rushton, 11/13/2006

The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors will consider whether to approve a resolution Tuesday calling for the removal of four dams — the Iron Gate, Copco I, Copco II and J.C. Boyle — on the upper stretches of the Klamath River.

The matter was initiated as a result of a letter to the board from the Northcoast Environmental Center, which has called on the supervisors to pass the resolution calling for the immediate removal of the dams.

As part of the ongoing re-licensing process for the four dams, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is accepting written comments, which are due no later than Dec. 1, on the agency’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement on the Klamath Hydroelectric Project.

According to the letter to the board from the NEC’s Erica Terence, the draft version of the federal agency’s DEIR “makes a mockery of the National Environmental Policy Act it was filed under by failing to even consider removal of four dams,” as well as proposes the “biologically insupportable solution” of trapping fish and driving them around the dams.

“As Tim McKay would have done, we are urging community participation in the process to take down the Klamath River dams that further deplete our fishery each year and affect all of us downstream,” the letter stated.

PacifiCorp, which operates the four electricity-generating dams, filed an application on Feb. 25, 2004, with FERC for a new license for the 161-megawatt Klamath Hydroelectric Project on the Klamath River between Klamath Falls, Ore., and Yreka.

The existing project occupies a total of 219 acres of lands of the United States, which are administered by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

For more information regarding the relicensing or to view the DEIS, visit www.ferc.gov/industries/hydropower/enviro/eis/09-25-06.asp#skipnavsub.

The board meeting begins at 9 a.m.


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