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The John C. Boyle Dam in Klamath County, Ore., is one of four on the Klamath River slated for removal.

PacifiCorp has entered into a site access agreement with Kiewit Infrastructure West Co. to allow the firm to conduct initial surveying and other work connected to planned removal of four dams on the Klamath River.

The site access agreement follows an announcement by the Klamath River Renewal Corporation on April 25 that it had finalized and signed an initial contract with Kiewit to perform preliminary services that include design, planning and permitting support to carry out dam removal.

Kiewit is a subsidiary of the international Peter Kiewit and Sons construction firm.

Removal of the dams would occur as soon as 2021 upon approval of the agreement by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The Karuk and Yurok tribes, both parties to the amended Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement, applauded both developments as key steps in facilitating enactment of the KHSA, according to a press release.

“For years the Tribes have viewed dam removal and the KHSA as a means to resolve long-standing environmental justice issues in the Klamath River Basin in a manner that provides a good outcome for PacifiCorp and its customers,” the release said.

“This is a win-win for the Yurok people and for business, and we look forward to working with PacifiCorp to implement the KHSA and free the Klamath River,” said Joseph L. James, Yurok Tribal Chairman.

Karuk Chairman Russell “Buster” Attebery added, “We are pleased to be one step closer to restoring our river. We appreciate PacifiCorp’s commitment to the project and we are excited to welcome Kiewit to the Klamath team.”

“PacifiCorp remains fully committed to successful implementation of the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement, which will result in removal of the lower four Klamath River dams coupled with customer protections,” said Scott Bolton, senior vice president for Pacific Power, a division of PacifiCorp that serves electricity customers in Oregon, California and Washington.

“The agreement provides a better outcome for our customers compared to the unknown costs and risk of relicensing the dams. PacifiCorp appreciates the expertise Kiewit brings to this endeavor and the continued hard work of our settlement partners as we move to fully implement this important agreement.”