Commissioners, KRRC address dam removal concerns
Klamath County Commissioners entered into a Memorandum of
Understanding with the Klamath River Renewal Corporation to
address local construction and road and traffic concerns
with KRRC’s proposal to remove four Klamath River dams.
document is a “good faith” commitment for KRRC to honor
commissioners’ local concerns regarding the dam removal
project, which is still awaiting approval from the Federal
Energy Regulatory Commission.
MOU is not legally binding. KRRC Director of Communications
Matt Cox said KRRC will stick to it.
sure, the agreement is not an indicator of commissioners’
personal or board support of KRRC. Local and state
politicians have no power over the future of the potential
dam project. Commissioners have said the MOU would bring
important local perspective to the project that might
otherwise be left out.
approval, construction timeline
is angling to remove four dams owned by PacifiCorp — one in
Klamath County, the JC Boyle, and three in Northern
California, Copco No. 1 and 2 and the Iron Gate.
did not have a timeline for when KRRC expects FERC to
approve the decision. He said KRRC is also talking with
commissioners in Siskiyou County, California, where three of
the four dams proposed for removal are located. Cox said
KRRC had not yet entered into an MOU with Siskiyou County,
but hoped to soon.
said KRRC will announce the selection of a dam removal
design/build contractor in April. KRRC cannot yet estimate
how long the demolition could take.
estimates the project would cost $398 million, Cox said,
with a $70 million contingency.
is eager to complete the project for the benefits it will
have to the river, fish, Klamath Basin and economy,” Cox
MOU, which commissioners signed March 26 after months of
negotiation, KRRC agreed to a host of commitments to keep
the JC Boyle site safe and workable before, during and after
will complete road, traffic and erosion control studies
prior to construction and share findings its with the
county, the MOU said.
agreed to monitor the Topsy Grade Road Culvert throughout
construction for erosion, sediment and debris. KRRC will
also implement traffic control measures to keep travel
efficient and safe throughout construction.
group agreed to make road and infrastructure repairs as
necessary, and complete a final road condition report to
share with the county after the project is finished. KRRC
agreed to pay the county for any necessary tail-end repairs.
said the MOU was a FERC requirement to ensure KRRC was being
a “good neighbor” to local communities affected by dam
will leave Klamath County and its infrastructure in at least
as good of condition before the dam removal,” Cox said.
has also touted the removal project as a local job generator
and economy stimulator.
said about 400 jobs would be created for the removal
project, and KRRC plans to prioritize hiring locally.
Heather Tramp, director of the Klamath County Chamber of
Commerce, said the chamber was interested in filling as many
potential new jobs and local contract opportunities with
Klamath community members.
said the chamber had not taken an official stance on the
project, but it wants to be an active partner in making it
beneficial to the community if it goes through.
said KRRC has so far been good about exploring and working
with the chamber on economic prospects for the dam.
said they discussed potential jobs for things like native
seed collection, planting and nursery work to restore
habitat after removal, as well as construction jobs in
excavation and heavy equipment operation.
can position ourselves to take advantage of those
opportunities, that’s a wise decision to make,” Tramp said.
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