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Supervisors' letter to the DOI calls for extension
Yreka, Calif. — The Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors sent a letter to Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar on Oct. 13 requesting a 30- to 60-day extension for their comments on the Klamath Facilities Removal Draft EIS/EIR.
The decision to request the extension was made by the board at their regular meeting on Tuesday.
Board chairman Jim Cook suggested that a letter be sent “demanding” an extension, though District 2 Supervisor Ed Valenzuela expressed a preference for using the word “request.”
District 3 Supervisor Michael Kobseff agreed with Cook.
“I think we’ve been cast aside and see a need to be assertive and demand an extension,” Kobseff said.
The letter drafted by County Counsel Tom Guarino stops short of making demands but states, “A touchstone of environmental review is that there be a meaningful opportunity for informed public participation. In order for this to occur, an extension of time is necessary and, in fact, mandated by the complexity, scope and volume of the materials in the EIR/EIS.”
The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) officially released the massive document on Sept. 22, though it was available on the federally sponsored Klamath Restoration website (http://klamathrestoration.gov/) on Sept. 21. The official comment period of 60 days will end on Nov. 21.
According to the letter, Siskiyou County has previously requested the opportunity to review the document in advance of the official public release, but “the request was not honored and we have only had the opportunity to review these materials along with the rest of the general public.”
The letter also alleges that “All of the signatories of the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement and the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement were not only given advance access to these documents but were also provided with support and opportunities not made available to Siskiyou County ...”
The Board of Supervisors’ letter was also sent to California Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein; Congressmen Walley Herger, Tom McClintock and Jeff Denham; Gov. Jerry Brown; and Department of Fish and Game Director Carlton Bonham.
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Page Updated: Thursday October 20, 2011 03:04 AM Pacific
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