Subscribe Today! Please read: Readers of local content on the Herald and News website – heraldandnews.com – will require a subscription beginning today. For the first few months, non-subscribers will still be able to view 10 articles for free. If you are not already a subscriber, now is a great time to join for as little as $10/month!
Copco 1 Dam on the Klamath River

Copco 1 Dam on the Klamath River

The public can now comment through February 2020 on recirculated portions of the Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Lower Klamath Project license surrender of the Federal Energy Regulatory Project.

The proposed project — which Klamath River Renewal Corporations said could begin as early as January 2022 — consists of the decommissioning and removal of the J.C. Boyle, Copco No. 1, Copco No. 2, and Iron Gate Dams and associated facilities located on the Klamath River, according to a news release. The project implements portions of the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement (KHSA), amended in 2016, which pledges to return the Klamath River to free-flowing conditions and provide fish passage in the portion of the Klamath River currently occupied by the Lower Klamath Project, according the release.

The California State Water Resources Control Board received more than 2,500 comments in February 2019 addressing the quality of the Draft EIR’s air quality, greenhouse gas, and energy analysis. The board is recirculating the Draft EIR sections and appendices related to air quality, greenhouse gas emissions, and energy analysis in order for the board to appropriately respond to comments and fully analyze the project.

The Draft EIR also considered alternatives to the project in California, including the following: No project, partial dam removal, continued operations with fish passage; three dam removal (removal of Iron Gate, Copco No. 1, and Copco No. 2 dams); two dam removal (removal of Iron Gate and Copco No. 1 dams); and dam removal with no hatcheries. Comments on these alternatives were received by the board in February 2019.

Additional comments on recirculated sections of the Draft EIR will be accepted by the board through 5 p.m., on Feb. 6, 2020.

Those wishing to comment are asked to indicate in the subject line of the comments “Lower Klamath Project recirculated Draft EIR.”

Comments will only be answered by the board if they are limited to recirculated portions of the Draft EIR.

Comments can be sent via mail to Michelle Siebal, State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Water Rights – Water Quality Certification Program, P.O. Box 2000, Sacramento, CA 95812-2000.

Portions of the Draft EIR will be available at a number of libraries in the region for review, including at the Siskiyou County Library starting on Jan. 2.

To view the recirculated portions of the Draft EIR in its entirety, go online to https://bit.ly/2SkE9pV.

Those with additional questions about the Draft EIR can contact Siebal by phone at 916-322-8465 or by email at WR401@waterboards.ca.gov.