UN-DAM the KLAMATH: No amount of stalling should keep the dams from falling.
Added to the calendar on Tuesday Jul 10th, 2012 4:44 PM
Tell California to Make PacifiCorp take responsibility for their Toxic Klamath Dams.
Come out to the California Water Resources Board meeting in Sacramento on July 17, 2012
In 2006 Warren Buffett’s PacifiCorp started the process of obtaining a needed Clean Water Act permit for their dams on the Klamath River. This permit is the last step in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) relicensing process for the Klamath Dams, which only happens every 50 years.
When these dams were originally permitted there were no laws such as the Clean Water Act or Endangered Species Act. Therefore, these antiquated dams have no fish passage, release toxic algae, and warm water to the point that is lethal to salmon. PacifiCorp admits that keeping these toxic dams would cost much more than dam removal. However, every year PacifiCorp stalls dam regulation while they make millions to the Klamath’s detriment. Current timelines associated with the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (KBRA) could allow PacifiCorp to stall for 8 more years even though dam removal is currently not mandated in proposed legislation. Furthermore, legislation is not progressing. PacifiCorp has already stalled dam removal for over six years by filling and pulling their Clean Water Act certification applications. This permit is known as a 401 certification.
There is no way the state of California can give these dams a 401 certification, as they produce levels of the toxic algae Microcystis aeruginosa up to 3000 times what is considered safe for recreational contact along with warm water that is lethal to salmon. Dam regulation could lead to dam removal, however California is stalling this regulation. Timelines in the KBRA could allow this stalling to continue until 2020, which means PacifiCorp can operate without regulations for fifteen years in addition to the fifty years they operated with immunity. This stalling could lead the federal government to decide that California has no right to regulate the dams because 401 certification applications are mandated to be processed within a year.
Don’t believe the hype. Clean Water regulation aids dam removal – 401 processes have to go through public processes which can take several years. Therefore, the 401 moving forward will not hurt the KBRA . However, if the KBRA, which is very controversial, continues to be stalled in this hostile congress, the 401 permit denial further increases the chances for dam removal under public process, the FERC process. The FERC process can get the dams removed without legislation.
Agencies moving to clean up the Klamath is a win-win for all who want the dams removed.
THE KLAMATH RIVER AND SALMON CANNOT WAIT EIGHT MORE YEARS!
If you cannot come out please write a letter in support of the 401 moving forward to:
Jeanine Townsend, Clerk to the Board
State Water Resources Control Board
1001 I Street, 24th Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814
Contact: Regina Chichizola at (541) 951-0126 for more information.