SEVERE WX : Wind Advisory - High Wind Warning - Winter Weather Advisory View Alerts

Feds approve transfer of Klamath River dams to removal project stakeholders

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved transfer of the four Lower Klamath dams to groups that are working toward their removal.

Posted: Jun 17, 2021 2:38 PM
Updated: Jun 17, 2021 6:24 PM

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Federal regulators on Thursday approved the transfer of four dams along the Klamath River from power company PacifiCorp to groups that are working to remove the dams and return the river to free-flowing conditions.

The push to remove the J.C. Boyle, Copco No. 1 & 2, and Iron Gate dams has been in the works for years, with proponents of removal eventually gaining agreement in 2010 with PacifiCorp, mapping out the plan to transfer control.

Those efforts hit a snag in July of 2020, when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) stipulated that it would only approve the project if PacifiCorp remained a co-licensee, taking a share of any potential liability.

The Klamath River Renewal Corporation (KRRC), which represents supporters of the removal project, went back to the drawing board. By November of 2020, they'd re-emerged with buy-in from the governors of Oregon and California, who agreed to take on the mantle of co-licensees in order to free PacifiCorp from the arrangement.

With that, the proposal went back to the FERC for another look.

On Thursday, the FERC approved transfer of the license on all four dams from PacifiCorp to KRRC and the supporting states, signaling a major milestone for the project.

“This is a crucial and significant step forward in accomplishing KRRC’s core mission to remove the four lower Klamath dams and restore a free-flowing river,” said Jim Root, president of the KRRC Board. Root noted that the KRRC project will constitute the largest dam removal and river recovery effort in US history. “I am deeply appreciative to all of the parties who have supported this project over the years, and I wish to especially note the significant and sustained efforts of our Tribal partners.”

“The FERC decision today respects PacifiCorp’s business decision to transfer its license for the four aging Klamath River dams," Senator Ron Wyden said in a statement. "These dams are not operated for flood control and provide no irrigation benefits. This is a critical step in restoring an iconic river system in a way that improves and reconnects habitat for fish and wildlife, acknowledges Tribal treaty obligations, protects power customers, and relieves pressure on upstream farmers and ranchers.”

The KRRC said that it plans to begin removal of the dams in 2023, although further regulatory approvals will be needed before the process can go forward.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 353368

Reported Deaths: 4226
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah55417699
Washington38425317
Marion36469448
Clackamas29440306
Lane27431300
Jackson22837305
Deschutes19958125
Umatilla14358145
Linn12672126
Douglas11962243
Josephine9307195
Yamhill8621111
Klamath7846116
Polk724881
Malheur555376
Benton541931
Coos495494
Columbia377043
Jefferson367752
Union316548
Lincoln315438
Wasco284840
Crook281846
Clatsop242029
Baker199928
Tillamook195529
Hood River190537
Morrow183423
Curry179425
Harney111926
Grant99512
Lake91012
Wallowa67612
Gilliam1524
Sherman1483
Wheeler1121
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4830872

Reported Deaths: 70874
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles147942126446
Riverside3706085008
San Diego3652534170
San Bernardino3576395606
Orange3235695531
Sacramento1587852294
Fresno1453782063
Kern1452271616
Santa Clara1451271895
Alameda1203661384
San Joaquin1023411721
Ventura1008491165
Contra Costa99712995
Stanislaus857501325
Tulare79627958
San Francisco54266644
San Mateo54023622
Monterey50792583
Solano45934339
Santa Barbara45047522
Merced42089579
Sonoma40865402
Placer39157420
Imperial35832764
Kings32649320
San Luis Obispo29837331
Madera23720285
Butte23673265
Shasta23574349
Santa Cruz20943218
Yolo20266248
Marin17665244
El Dorado17097149
Sutter13861172
Napa12864100
Yuba1001982
Tehama9433107
Humboldt9180107
Nevada911690
Mendocino758487
Lassen753046
San Benito741672
Tuolumne682889
Lake6583104
Amador540764
Siskiyou446442
Glenn434232
Calaveras386580
Del Norte357441
Colusa303018
Inyo205540
Mono16643
Plumas16126
Mariposa132315
Trinity86911
Modoc6755
Unassigned2120
Sierra1820
Alpine1030
Out of CA00
Medford
Cloudy
50° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 50°
Brookings
Cloudy
52° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 52°
Crater Lake
Cloudy
50° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 50°
Grants Pass
Cloudy
50° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 50°
Klamath Falls
Cloudy
40° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 31°
Strong winds tonight
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events