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PacifiCorp: Pact will be delayed

Spokesman says company is confident water agreement will move forward

By Ty Beaver, Herald and News June 6, 2009

A PacifiCorp spokesman said Friday that a final agreement on removal of four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River will be delayed, but stressed there hasn’t been a decision about what the new deadline will be.

Art Sasse confirmed Gov. Ted Kulongoski’s statements that more time is needed to finalize the dam removal agreement between the Portland-based utility and government officials.

“We’re still confident this will move forward,” Sasse said.

Kulongoski said Thursday he expects those working on the agreement, who have been meeting in Medford this week, to miss an initial June 30 deadline.

State and federal officials have worked with PacifiCorp since November to craft a dam removal agreement, a key aspect of the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement, which seeks to resolve water issues among farmers, tribes, fishermen and conservationists in the Basin.

The governor said he expects a document sometime in August or September, but Sasse said there’s been no discussion about how long to extend the deadline.

Sasse attributed the delay to the complexity of the dam removal issue and to the fact that U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar is still making appointments within his department, and it takes time to bring those new officials up to speed.
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              Page Updated: Thursday July 09, 2009 02:56 AM  Pacific

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