KLAMATH BASIN – Mark Bransom, Chief Executive Officer for the Klamath River Renewal Corporation (KRRC), issued the following statement in response to the December 27 release of the California State Water Resources Control Board’s (SWRCB) Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for removal of the Klamath River dams in California.
“This draft report is a key step to completing this critical project and rehabilitating one of the great rivers of the American west. It’s a sign of meaningful progress and I look forward to a thorough KRRC review of the report and its proposals.
“KRRC is pleased that after considering the full range of project benefits and impacts, the DEIR looked favorably on the Proposed Project.
“As the designated lead agency for the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) on the Klamath project, the SWRCB must conduct this CEQA analysis before it can issue a final Clean Water Act Section 401 permit to the KRRC for removal of the three dams in California. The 401 permit is one of several regulatory permits and approvals KRRC requires to proceed with dam removal, in addition to FERC’s approval of KRRC’s applications for transfer and surrender of the hydroelectric license.”
The DEIR evaluates potential environmental impacts of the Lower Klamath Project and includes proposed measures to avoid, mitigate, or offset those impacts. The DEIR will be available for public review and comment until February 26, 2019. SWRCB will evaluate and consider all responses and comments as it develops its final EIR, which is expected to be released in Summer 2019.
A complete copy of the DEIR is available at www.krrc.sbwebhost.com/dev3/deir/
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.