The Klamath River Renewal Corporation (KRRC) filed the Definite Plan for Klamath Dam removal with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) today. The Definite Plan provides specific details regarding the removal of the lower four Klamath River dams, the largest such effort in U.S. history. At over 1,500 pages, the Definite Plan provides comprehensive analysis and detail on project design, decommissioning, reservoir restoration, and other post-deconstruction activities.
“The release of the Definite Plan represents a major milestone in the effort to remove Klamath dams and restore fisheries on the North Coast,” said Fifth District Supervisor Ryan Sundberg. “Humboldt County continues to be a strong advocate for Klamath dam removal and we support the collaboration of agencies and organizations working hard to make dam removal on the Klamath River a reality.”
The plan to remove Klamath dams stems from a 2010 Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement (later amended in 2016) signed by Humboldt County along with the Governors of California and Oregon, Karuk and Yurok Tribes, dam owner PacifiCorp, conservation groups, and other parties. Humboldt County was an active participant in settlement negotiations and is the only county government that is a signatory to the Agreement.
Pursuant to the Agreement, PacifiCorp proposes to transfer ownership of the dams to the non-profit KRRC for removal in 2021 pending regulatory approvals by FERC and the California State Water Resources Control Board. The cost of dam removal will be covered in part by PacifiCorp and in part by the state of California.
A comprehensive review of the benefits of Klamath dam removal by the Interior Department in 2012 concluded that Klamath dam removal would dramatically improve water quality in the Klamath River and increase Chinook salmon populations by 81%. These reports were peer reviewed by the National Academy of Sciences and are available at www.klamathrestoration.gov.
A link to the Definite Plan and more information on the benefits of dam removal and the timeline for regulatory approvals can be found at www.klamathrenewal.org.
For more information, contact Hank Seemann, Deputy-Director, County of Humboldt Public Works at (707) 445-7741.