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Indybay Feature
Tue Jul 9 2013 (Updated 07/11/13)
Hoopa Valley Tribe Blasts PacifiCorp for Applying Chemicals to Curb Algae
Chemical Use in Klamath River Violates Clean Water Act and California Law
A plan by Warren Buffett’s PacifiCorp to apply chemicals to kill toxic blue-green algae on the Klamath River for the second year in a row has ignited opposition by North Coast Indian Tribes and river users. The Hoopa Valley Tribe and river users cite studies from 2012 that show killing the algae actually releases the algae toxin, microcystin, at a time of year when people are swimming, wading, rafting and fishing in the Klamath River.

Regina Chichizola, who represents the Tribe, said PacifiCorp did not give any notification of the chemical use to river users, in violation of the federal Clean Water Act and California law, nor did they initiate public comment. The Tribe said PacifiCorp should start planning for dam removal to deal with the toxic blue-green algae.

"Studies show that PacifiCorp’s reservoirs create one of the worst toxic algae problems in the world,” said Leonard Masten, chairman of the Hoopa Valley Tribe. “PacifiCorp has stated they want to remove their dams for economic reasons, and has collected ratepayer money to do it, yet they are stalling dam removal by falsely saying they need legislation. They expose our communities to toxins while they stall the very Clean Water Act processes that are necessary to plan for dam removal and regulate water pollution.”

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