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April set for target release date of Klamath environmental review documents
Klamath River — April 1, 2011 is the target release date for draft environmental review documents associated with the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement and Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement, exactly one year after the the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors took a majority vote to not sign either agreement, according to klamathrestoration.gov.
The agreements lay out a plan for the potential removal of four dams along the Klamath River and the restoration of fisheries, water delivery assurances for upper basin farmers and a number of other activities.
As stipulated in the agreements, environmental review must be conducted as required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) before the dam removal decision can be made by the Secretary of the Interior and concurrence achieved by both the state of California and state of Oregon.
As noted in the past by the teams conducting the studies associated with the agreements, there are currently two “tracks” of review being conducted – one to inform the secretarial dam removal decision and the other to satisfy the environmental review requirements under NEPA and CEQA.
Unlike the secretarial determination track, which is only including a dams-in or dams-out analysis, the NEPA/CEQA track is required to include an analysis of all proposed alternatives submitted by agencies and members of the public. Under guidelines of both acts, mitigations must be identified for potential negative impacts to the environment.
During the public scoping process, a number of alternatives to dam removal have been suggested, including a fish bypass around the dams, the installation of fish ladders and numerous others; however, the extent to which those alternatives are being explored has not yet been detailed.
– David Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Page Updated: Monday January 03, 2011 03:24 AM Pacific
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