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Copco No. 1

Copco No. 1 dam and powerhouse on the Klamath River.

Public meetings seeking comment on a draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for surrender of the Lower Klamath Project license begin this week, according to a news release from the California State Water Resources Control Board.

The license surrender is one step toward the proposed removal of four PacifiCorp dams on the Klamath River, three of which are in California.

The meetings will be:

n Tuesday, Feb. 5, 5 to 8 p.m., Best Western Miner’s Inn, 122 E. Miner St., Yreka

n Wednesday, Feb. 6, 5 to 8 p.m., D Street Neighborhood Center, 1301 D St., Arcata, Calif.

n Thursday, Feb. 7, noon to 3 p.m., Karuk Tribe Council Chambers, 37960 Highway 96, Orleans, Calif.

n Friday, Feb. 15, 1 to 4 p.m., CalEPA Building, Sierra Hearing Room, 1001 I Street, Second Floor, Sacramento

The Sacramento meeting will be webcast live on the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) website at: www.calepa.ca.gov/broadcast. During the webcast, participants can submit email comments to: wr401program@waterboards.ca.gov.

The public meetings will provide information and allow oral comments on the draft EIR. The time allotted at the meetings for each individual or organization to comment may need to be limited depending on the number of people in attendance. No action will be taken during the meetings and no decisions will be made.

The Klamath River Renewal Corporation (KRRC) applied to the board in September for a Clean Water Act section 401 certification for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) license surrender of the Lower Klamath Project. KRRC, a nonprofit, is charged with removing the dams, restoring formerly inundated lands, and implementing required mitigation measures.

The hydroelectric project in Siskiyou and Klamath counties consists of seven dams: East Side; West Side; Keno; J.C. Boyle; Fall Creek (located on Fall Creek, a Klamath River tributary); Copco No. 1; Copco No. 2; and Iron Gate. Removal of J.C. Boyle in Oregon, Copco No. 1, Copco No. 2 and Iron Gate dams in California, and associated facilities is proposed. This would implement portions of the 2016 Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement which seeks to return the river to free-flowing conditions to benefit fish passage.

The Notice of Availability and Draft EIR are available at: https://bit.ly/2TcxefF. Additional information related to the Lower Klamath Project water quality certification and California Environmental Quality Act process can be found at: https://bit.ly/2jwgIcL.

Comments on the draft EIR are due by noon, Feb. 26, and can be sent to wr401program@waterboards.ca.gov, or Ms. Michelle Siebal, State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Water Rights — Water Quality Certification Program, P.O. Box 2000, Sacramento, CA 95812-2000.