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Klamath County Commissioners intervene in dam removal

The Klamath County Board of Commissioners is continuing efforts to intervene in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) process to remove four dams on the Klamath River and transfer ownership to the Klamath River Renewal Corporation (KRRC). (KBC NOTE: here is KBC's who's who on KRRC)

The Klamath River Renewal Corporation is a nonprofit corporation formed in 2016 to oversee removal of four dams on the Klamath River.

The KRRC’s sole purpose is to oversee the decommissioning of Iron Gate Dam, Copco No. 1 Dam, Copco No. 2 Dam, and J.C. Boyle Dam in partnership with PacifiCorp, the owner of the facilities.

The Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement (KHSA), as amended in 2016, called for the creation of the KRRC and provides the roadmap for the decommissioning of the four hydroelectric dams starting in 2020. The Oregon and California public utility commissions found that decommissioning the dams via the KHSA was a prudent alternative for PacifiCorp’s customers. The issue is now before FERC to transfer ownership to the KRCC.

The Klamath commissioners are joined by a long list of those intervening in the FERC process, including: State Sen. Dennis Linthicum, Rep. E. Werner Rescke, Siskiyou County Water Users Association, Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors, Klamath Water Users Association and California Department of Fish & Wildlife.

The act of intervening doesn’t constitute opposition or proposition on the dam issue, but protects the rights of the intervenor to express opinions on the dam removal in the future.

Klamath Irrigation District’s Grant Knoll on Wednesday read a statement to commissioners during a work session on behalf of a group of concerned on-project and off-project irrigators at the meeting. Knoll asked for clarity on the status of the county commission’s intent to intervene.

“No individual in the county has standing or resources to intervene in the FERC process, but we feel this is an effort that the county government should take on,” said Knoll, in the statement. “We will be asking our state legislators to carry this request to the state level and ask for their intervention in the process.”

Commissioner Kelley Minty Morris told Knoll the county is already in the process of intervening.

The commission hired a Washington, D.C.-based legal firm to start the process in 2016.

“The intervening is to make sure we are able to advocate for Klamath County financial interests,” Minty Morris said. “If we did not intervene, we would not be able to make a case related to any financial detriment suffered by the residents of Klamath County.”

Commissioner Donnie Boyd echoed Minty Morris’ comments.

“We want to have a seat at the table so that we make sure that we are heard,” Boyd said, following the meeting. “We want to be able to express our concerns.”

Linthicum, who was present at Wednesday’s the work session, asked commissioners if they would make the motion to intervene public.

Minty Morris said the motion is still in draft form but will be made public through a public’s record request.

A copy of the county’s motion to intervene was not available for release as of press time.

To learn more about KRRC, go online at www.klamathrenewal.org.



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              Page Updated: Friday November 03, 2017 01:46 AM  Pacific

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