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Buffett’s PacifiCorp’s Aquatic Pesticide Proposal Angers Tribes, River Users
by Dan Bacher
Wednesday Sep 5th, 2012 4:46 PM
PacifiCorp wants to study the use of pesticides on record setting blooms of the toxic algae, microcystis aeruginosa, and the toxin it produces, microcystin—more commonly known as blue-green algae. The experiment may start as soon as tomorrow despite the fact algal toxins are already flushing down the river and salmon are present in record numbers.
algae_blooms.jpg
algae_blooms.jpg

Hoopa Valley Tribe Press Release, September 5, 2012

Contact:
Regina Chichizola, Hoopa Valley Tribe 541 951-0126
Leonard Masten, Hoopa Valley Tribe Chairman, 530 739-2892

Buffett’s PacifiCorp’s Aquatic Pesticide Proposal Angers Tribes, River Users
Klamath Becoming a Corporately Controlled River

Eureka, California- PacifiCorp’s Labor Day weekend announcement that they intend to start using aquatic pesticides in the Klamath reservoirs angered tribes and other stakeholders last week.

PacifiCorp wants to study the use of pesticides on record setting blooms of the toxic algae, microcystis aeruginosa, and the toxin it produces, microcystin—more commonly known as blue-green algae. The experiment may start as soon as tomorrow despite the fact algal toxins are already flushing down the river and salmon are present in record numbers.

The study is proposed as an interim measure under the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (KBRA) and Klamath Hydropower Settlement Agreement (KHSA), despite objections from Settlement supporters. PacifiCorp alerted Siskiyou County of the study, but did not ask for input from, or warn, any other stakeholders, including the six downriver tribes and the public. This leads some to claim the stalled out agreements have essentially made the Klamath a corporately controlled river.

“The Klamath River is one of the most important salmon rivers on the west coast. There is no question dam removal is needed, however the stalled out agreements have lead to an air of lawlessness,” said Leonard Masten, of the Hoopa Valley Tribe. “These agreements are not moving, yet Clean Water Act regulation has been stalled for seven years. It is time to use existing laws to get the dams out.”

Masten said more than a hundred Hoopa Tribal members traveled to Sacramento in July to ask California to hold PacifiCorp responsible for their pollution under the Clean Water Act. The Water Board didn’t listen.

While other concerned stakeholders support the Klamath River settlements, they oppose the experiment and are worried about the unknowns involved. In recent letters to PacifiCorp the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Karuk Tribe expressed concern that the project may lead to increased toxin levels at a time when salmon, Tribal ceremonial leaders, and fishermen are in the river. Other scientists say it is too late in the bloom for the study to be productive and impacts to fisheries are not addressed. They say many things are deeply flawed in the study.

The Klamath has consistently had one of the worst toxic algae problems recorded in the world. Levels of microcystin have been over 3000 times World Health Organization limits for recreation contact. This has led to the entire river below the reservoirs to be posted as a health hazard during certain times of the year, every year. Studies prove the reservoirs create the toxin problem and only dam removal can solve it. Warren Buffet’s PacifiCorp has publicly stated they support removal of their dams, yet many claim they are stalling dam removal to operate the dams outside of current laws, while continuing to profit up to 27 million a year.

Information and petitions related to this proposal can be found at Save The Klamath-Trinity Salmon on facebook or at Change.org: http://www.change.org/petitions/don-t-use-algaecides-in-the-klamath-reservoirs-un-dam-the-klamath-now?utm_campaign=share_button_modal&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition&utm_term=5016791