Compensation to Homeowners
A critical component of the Klamath dam removal project is fair treatment for individuals and entities whose properties could be physically impacted by removal of the four hydroelectric dams. Dam removal may impact certain groundwater wells in the vicinity of Copco Reservoir and Iron Gate Reservoir, damage a small number of properties adjacent to Copco Reservoir due to slope instability following reservoir drawdown, and slightly increase the risk of flood damages for certain properties downstream of Iron Gate dam. The Klamath Mitigation Fund (Fund) is a voluntary claims-based compensation program in which impacted property owners can participate.The Fund is designed to provide compensation for specified physical impacts to private properties caused by the Klamath dam removal project.
The Fund will be administered by independent Fund Administrators based on criteria established from extensive technical analysis. The Fund Administrators will organize information sessions by potential claim (slope stability, flood risk, and groundwater well impacts) to explain the analysis and approach. They will ultimately make independent compensation decisions and manage settlements with individual property owners for physical damages demonstrated to be caused by dam removal. Such payments (which will settle claims) will avoid the need for litigation to resolve such damages.
KRRC holds the funds that are available to the Fund Administrators to run the Klamath Mitigation Fund, but has no role in managing individual claims. The Fund Administrators have that role and responsibility. Each property owner will elect whether to enter into a settlement with the Fund Administrators.
While it will be independently managed and operated by the Fund Administrators, the Fund must be managed in a way that is consistent with applicable law, including the legal requirements for public funding. The Fund utilizes public dollars, including resources from California’s 2014 Proposition 1 and funding via the Public Utilities Commission. These funds may not be used to compensate property owners for a real or perceived loss in property value that does not involve physical damages. Therefore, the Fund Administrators will not provide compensation for these nonphysical impacts.
To learn more about the Klamath Mitigation Fund and eligible property owners, please visit klamathmitigation.org.