Dam removal DEIR finds no significant long-term water quality concerns

Mt. Shasta News –

Plans for the removal of three dams on the Klamath River in California cleared another regulatory hurdle when state officials released a draft environmental impact report that found no significant long-term water quality concerns.

The proposed EIR will be available for public comment through Feb. 26.

The 1,800-page report completed by the state Water Resources Control Board covered everything from water quality to wildfires to whether the Coho salmon – a critical part of the restoration process that spawned the dam demolition plan in the first place – are even native to the project area.

Officials with the nonprofit Klamath River Renewal Corp, the entity that would take control of the dams from PacifiCorp during the decommissioning process, stated in a press release that they were pleased with the “favorable” report.

“This draft report is a key step to completing this critical project and rehabilitating one of the great rivers of the American west,” said Mark Bransom, chief executive officer with KRRC. “It’s a sign of meaningful progress and I look forward to a thorough review of the report and its proposals.”

Approval from state water officials is required for the removal of the Iron Gate, Copco No. 1 and Copco No. 2 dams. If the draft EIR becomes final, KRRC would be granted a Clean Water Act Sec. 401 permit, one of several regulatory requirements.

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