California Water Board Issues Draft Certification for Section 401 Water Quality Permit for Proposed Dam Removal

June 12, 2018

CONTACT: Darcy Wheeles

On June 7, 2018, the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) released its draft Section 401 Water Quality Certification for the proposed removal of the Copco No. 1, Copco No. 2, and Iron Gate hydroelectric developments, located in Siskiyou County, CA. The Klamath River Renewal Corporation (KRRC) submitted its application to the SWRCB in September 2016 for water quality certification pursuant to Section 401 of the federal Clean Water Act.

“KRRC is currently reviewing the Water Board’s draft conditions of certification,” said KRRC Executive Director Mark Bransom. “Along with the proposed certification from the State of Oregon, the issuance of this draft certification from California is another positive and important step forward in implementing Klamath River Renewal Project.”

Members of the public are invited to comment on the draft certification for the removal of the three hydroelectric facilities located in Siskiyou County in written comments due by 12 p.m. on July 23, 2018. SWRCB does not currently plan to hold public meetings to discuss the draft.

The Copco No. 1, Copco No. 2, and Iron Gate facilities are part of the Lower Klamath Project which also includes J.C. Boyle dam in Oregon. This draft Section 401 Water Quality Certification specifically addresses the proposed actions located in California. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) released its proposed Section 401 Water Quality Certification for the J.C. Boyle dam and related structures on May 23, 2018.

More information is available at: th_ferc14803.shtml.

The Klamath River Renewal Corporation (KRRC) is an independent nonprofit organization founded in 2016 as part of the amended Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement (KHSA). KRRC is part of a cooperative effort to re-establish the natural vitality of the Klamath River so that it can support all communities in the basin. Signatories of the amended KHSA incude the states of California and Oregon, local governments, tribal nations, dam owner PacifiCorp, irrigators, and several conservation and fishing groups. KRRC was formed for the sole purpose of taking ownership of four PacifiCorps dams — J.C. Boyle, Copco No. 1 & 2, and Iron Gate – and then removing these dams, restoring formerly inundated lands, and implementing required mitigation measures in compliance with all applicable federal, state, and local regulations. KRRC’s work is funded by PacifiCorp customer surcharges and California Proposition 1 water bond funds.

KRRC values transparency and cooperation with all stakeholders and is committed to working with residents and governments to minimize any nuisance or negative impacts while enhancing the project’s local benefits.