Your comments needed now to secure a
Klamath Dam Removal Permit
The California Water Board has assessed that removing Klamath dam is the “environmentally superior alternative!” as stated in the draft Environmental Impact Report (dEIR).
Now we need your voice to help us secure a dam removal permit.
Hearings in February will give the public a chance to weigh in and support this conclusion and largest salmon restoration project in American history!
What You Can Do to Help
The State Water Board will hold a series of four public meetings next week around northern California to review the DEIR’s preliminary findings. CalTrout encourages its members and supporters to attend these meetings and submit a written comment (using the form on this webpage) to communicate support for removing the Klamath dams, and thank the State Water Board for moving the process forward.
State your support for the full removal of the lower four Klamath River dams. Be sure to share your personal experiences about how the water quality and fisheries impacts of the dams have affected your life.
The dEIR supports dam removal. We can help by stating support for dEIR’s key conclusions:
- The Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) affirms that dam removal is the best alternative and would comply with water quality requirements.
- The Klamath is the third most productive fishery for salmon and steelhead on the West Coast.
- Dam removal is the only project alternative that achieves the project purpose of restoring a free-flowing river, and will re-open over 400 miles of spawning and rearing habitat for struggling salmon and steelhead. Dam removal improves water quality and complies with Clean Water Act water quality objectives.
- The dams are a leading cause of salmon declines in the Klamath Basin.
- The reservoirs created by these dams host massive blooms of toxic algae every year, which impairs water quality and poses health risks for people and pets. The Water Board’s DEIR supports what dam removal advocates have said all along – dam removal helps alleviate these conditions.
- Dam removal improves water quality.
- This includes getting rid of the blue green algae blooms and fish disease problems below the dams. While the dam removal process will create temporary sediment impacts, the long-term benefits of dam removal include stronger salmon runs and better water quality.
- Dam removal will not affect irrigated agriculture: none of the dams slated for removal provide agricultural diversions.
- The dams provide no significant buffer from floods.
- In sum, the I agree with the key findings of this document and we support the proposed project – undam the Klamath.
Meeting times and locations:
All comments are due by noon on February 26, 2019. Email to: email@example.com.
Dams Kill Fish, Impair Water Quality
The reservoirs host massive blooms of toxic algae each year, posing health risks for people and pets. The dams are a leading cause of salmon declines in the Klamath Basin. The Water Board’s draft EIR supports what dam removal advocates have said all along – dam removal helps alleviate these conditions.
Dam Removal Effort Facing Final Hurdles
Dam owner PacifiCorp has agreed to transfer the lower four dams (and $200 million) to the Klamath River Renewal Corporation (KRRC) for removal in 2021. To do so, regulatory approvals are needed first from the CA waterboard and then from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
The Clean Water Act requires states to certify that anything released into the nation’s waters – including water releases from removal of a dam – complies with water quality standards. The draft EIR is the beginning of a process to issue Clean Water Act permit for dam removal. After California finalizes its certification, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, gets to make a final determination.
CA Water Board’s draft EIR Supports Removal of Four Dams
The draft environmental impact report looks at potential impacts associated with the removal of the lower 4 Klamath River Dams as compared to a no project alternative, partial dam removal, construction of fish ladders, removal of only 3 dams, and removal of only 2 dams. In the end, the Water Board staff finds that, “In looking at the range of benefits and impacts the State Water Board has identified the Proposed Project as the environmentally superior alternative.”
Now is the Time to Make YOUR VOICE HEARD!
The dam removal proposal is the culmination of years of efforts by Klamath Basin tribes, fishermen, conservation groups and activists like you. In the end, dam owner PacifiCorp (a subsidiary of Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway – NYSE BRK.A) agreed to transfer the dams to the non-profit Klamath River Renewal Corporation (KRRC) for removal. Dam hugging opponents are still trying to thwart the project so its important that we continue to fight for dam removal.