Oregon utilities commission approves transfer of Klamath River dams

The Oregon Public Utility Commission this week approved PacifiCorp's application to transfer four dams on the Klamath River to a corporation that will pursue their removal.

Posted: Jul 27, 2021 4:42 PM

SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon Public Utility Commission this week approved power company PacifiCorp's application to transfer four dams on the Klamath River to a corporation that will pursue their removal.

The push to remove the J.C. Boyle, Copco No. 1 & 2, and Iron Gate dams has been underway for years, but in mid-June the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) put its stamp of approval on the transfer proposal.

Now the PUC has added its stamp of approval — one that joins similar approvals from utility commissions in California, Idaho, and Wyoming.

“Our decision to approve the transfer is one step on a long and winding path that will continue through the next phases,” said PUC Chair Megan Decker. “It keeps in motion efforts to restore the Klamath Basin and improve the health of a river vital to indigenous communities and others that depend on it.”

According to the PUC, the Lower Klamath Project dams were built entirely for the purpose of power generation, and were not made for irrigation, flood control, or safe fish passage. Upriver, the Keno and Link River dams both include fish passages and serve the Klamath Project irrigation network.

“Given the high expected cost to relicense and continue operating these dams, the likelihood that the dams would generate less energy after relicensing, and the declining cost of alternative power sources, dam removal remains the least costly and risky option for PacifiCorp customers,” Decker continued.

PacifiCorp originally submitted an application for the transfer back in 2010, but the PUC concluded that a transfer would be "premature" and should wait until closer to the actual date.

Once PacifiCorp successfully transfers ownership of the dams, they'll go to the Klamath River Renewal Corporation to see the removal process through. The KRRC, which represents stakeholders in the project, received backing from the governors of Oregon and California in November. Both states signed on as co-licensees to help absorb any potential liability for the project.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 309841

Reported Deaths: 3569
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah50840642
Washington34683272
Marion32181388
Clackamas26315270
Lane23632246
Jackson20753255
Deschutes16401100
Umatilla12552125
Douglas10599185
Linn1030285
Josephine8536163
Yamhill737299
Klamath637891
Polk617770
Malheur475867
Benton454027
Coos406469
Columbia320237
Jefferson310446
Lincoln272829
Union266036
Wasco236739
Crook212137
Clatsop210225
Tillamook179623
Baker171920
Morrow166621
Curry166317
Hood River161635
Harney77115
Grant7538
Lake6608
Wallowa50111
Gilliam1364
Sherman1283
Wheeler651
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4636268

Reported Deaths: 67966
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles144412725849
Riverside3575584802
San Diego3492274006
San Bernardino3468955501
Orange3135295354
Sacramento1498662070
Santa Clara1403871841
Fresno1356471889
Kern1343971515
Alameda1160681320
Ventura976231120
San Joaquin971621615
Contra Costa95595924
Stanislaus800341229
Tulare72812896
San Mateo52172607
San Francisco51808605
Monterey49445565
Solano44061312
Santa Barbara43065500
Sonoma39376376
Merced39279535
Placer36390364
Imperial34235755
Kings30038285
San Luis Obispo28273313
Madera21672258
Butte21205230
Shasta20647276
Santa Cruz20134211
Yolo19118239
Marin17080242
El Dorado15964127
Sutter13055153
Napa1224695
Yuba923461
Nevada845685
Humboldt826284
Tehama821184
San Benito708567
Mendocino681971
Lassen636827
Tuolumne612593
Lake601087
Amador489759
Glenn396430
Siskiyou388841
Calaveras339366
Del Norte334234
Colusa290718
Inyo166239
Mono14935
Plumas12336
Mariposa96712
Trinity71910
Modoc6278
Sierra1980
Unassigned1180
Alpine1000
Out of CA00
Medford
Clear
60° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 60°
Brookings
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 79°
Crater Lake
Clear
60° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 60°
Grants Pass
Clear
60° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 60°
Klamath Falls
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 54°
Warmer tomorrow, hazy skies return Wednesday
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events