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Water Board Issues Reports On Klamath Dam Removal

Plans for the removal of dams on the Klamath River have taken another step as the State Water Board has issued some key documents. The Final Water Quality Certification Permit and the Final Environmental Impact Report will become part of the Klamath Project license surrender order that needs to be issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission before the Klamath River Renewal Corporation, the K.R.R.C., can begin demolishing the four dams. The $450 Million job will remove the Copco 1, Copco 2 and Iron Gate Dams in California and the J.C. Boyle Dam in Oregon. That will reopen 360 miles of the Klamath River and its tributaries to Salmon spawning for the first time in more than a century, and will eliminate masses of toxic blue-green algae that thrives in the stagnate waters. The Klamath Settlement Agreement was forged 10 years ago between native tribes, farmers, conservation and fishing groups, government agencies and PacifiCorp, which owns the dams. Farmers are still wanting the dams to stay to provide reliable irrigation, but PacifiCorp has been pushing to transfer ownership to the K.R.R.C.. Now the process is awaiting federal action.