[env-trinity] Klamath Water Quality Put on Hold by State Water Board

FISH1IFR@aol.com FISH1IFR at aol.com
Fri Oct 15 13:25:50 PDT 2010

ALL.....   While I have great respect for the Hoopa Valley Tribe,  
unfortunately the fundamental premise of this Press Release is deeply  flawed.  
The 401 Certification process which has been stayed is to APPROVE 4-DAM  
FERC RELICENSING, and not to "clean up the river in the interim."  Why  should 
anyone be pushing to remove the final barrier between PacifiCorp and  
40-year FERC relicensing?  Especially since, under the Klamath  Hydroelectric 
Settlement Agreement (KHSA) it is dam REMOVAL, not relicensing,  that is the 
preferred alternative that we are all now working toward  achieving.  
We and other Parties to the Klamath Hydropower Settlement Agreement (KHSA)  
supported staying the current 401 Certification Application as merely a way 
to  halt the run to full and final FERC relicensing while dam removal is 
being given  serious consideration.  Dave removal will need its own 401 
Certification  process down the road -- BUT THIS IS NOT IT.  
As to cleaning up the river between now and the projected dam removal  
target date of 2020, there are numerous "Interim Measures" in the KHSA which  
will help to do that, or at least to minimize water quality impacts as best as 
 can be done short of dam removal, which will of course do much more.   
PacifiCorp is pledged under the KHSA to paying several million dollars  toward 
those "Interim Measures."  Also, with the new approved Klamath  Mainstem 
TMDLs in place, PacifiCorp must also work out a TMDL Implementation  Plan to 
meet its TMDL obligations in the interim until dam removal in  2020.
Some have pushed for completing the FERC Relicensing 401 Certification  
Process in the hopes that the State Water Board (and the Oregon equivalent, the 
 Environmental Quality Commission (EQC)) will simply DENY the permit,  
putting PacifiCorp in a position where it will eventually have to remove the  
dams.  This ignores the fact that under the KHSA the dams will come down  
anyway, and sooner.  It also takes a HUGE RISK that the California State  Water 
Board (and EQC) will issue a Permit with mitigation measures that  
PacifiCorp could meet, or that their denial will fall to a later Court challenge  
with several years of litigation under the current status quo.  It also  takes 
a huge risk that PacifiCorp would be able to relicense the dams, or at  
least J.C. Boyles dam in Oregon.  J.C. Boyles is by far the most valuable  dam 
for power production of the four, and has the least water quality impacts,  
and is in OREGON where the pollution control laws are much less stringent 
than  in California and in which there is much less likelihood that a 401  
Certification denial would be upheld by the Courts.  
In other words, if push comes to shove and the KHSA dissolves, forcing  
PacifiCorp back to regular FERC relicensing, it is most likely -- in my  
estimation and that of many others with more expertise in these matters -- that  
at least one dam (J.C.Boyle) will get a new 40-year FERC license, the  
opportunity to restore a free-flowing KIamath River will be missed, and both the  
salmon and the river will not see another such a chance at restoration until 
at  least the year 2052.  
Thus the efforts should be put towards fully implementing the KHSA,  not 
pushing for a 401 Certification process that leads only toward FERC  
relicensing.  And that is what the Water Board also decided.
Glen H. Spain,  NW Regional Director
Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations  (PCFFA)
PO Box 11170, Eugene, OR 97440-3370
Phone: (541)689-2000 Fax:  (541)689-2500
Web: _www.pcffa.org_ (http://www.pcffa.org/)  Email:  fish1ifr at aol.com  

In a message dated 10/15/2010 7:52:52 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time,  
ahostler at hoopa-nsn.gov writes:

October 14,  2010 

Contact: Allie  Hostler, HVT Fisheries, (530)625-4267 x12 
Why is the California  Water Board risking the State’s water to protect an 
Oregon  Utility? 
Klamath Water Quality  Still in Peril 
Last week, the State Water Resources Control Board granted  PacifiCorp’s 
request to suspend the Section 401 Water Quality Certification  process until 
May 17, 2011, a whole year beyond target dates set forth in the  Klamath 
Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement (KHSA) negotiated in February.   
“PacifiCorp will keep stalling and avoid taking  responsibility for the 
water quality disaster on the Klamath River as long as  the State allows. The 
River needs help NOW,” Hoopa Valley Tribal Chairman,  Leonard Masten said. 
California’s Section 401 Water Quality certification  process is the final, 
required step in the Federal Energy Regulatory  Commission’s (FERC) 
relicensing process. PacifiCorp’s license to operate the  Klamath Hydroelectric 
Project expired in 2006. California was amidst the  Section 401 Water Quality 
Certification process, as required by the Clean  Water Act, when the Bush 
administration in 2008 announced an Agreement between  PacifiCorp, California, 
Oregon and the Federal Government to look into  potential dam removal. A 
year later, in 2009, the Obama administration signed  on to the document. 
“The Agreement in Principle brought the Section 401 Water  Quality 
Certification process to a dead stop in 2008,” Masten said. The clock  is still 
ticking, and not in favor of Klamath River salmon that Indians and  non-Indians 
depend on as a subsistence, cultural and economic  resource. 
The KHSA and companion settlement, the Klamath Basin  Restoration Agreement 
(KBRA) require federal legislation to be in enacted. The  KHSA calls for 
legislation to be introduced by May 18, 2010. That deadline has  come and 
gone. The Hoopa Tribe believes the $1.5 billion price tag and ongoing  
disagreements about the KBRA in the basin have stalled its  introduction. 
Water Board Chairman, Charles Hoppin cited a lack of state  money to 
complete the 401 certification process as a reason the Board granted  another 
delay. Vice Chair, Frances Spivy-Weber expressed concerns that the  Water Board 
is not putting PacifiCorp’s “feet to the fire.” She said, “Sooner  or 
later we’ll have get past the abeyance issue. This issue is no closer to  being 
solved today than it was years ago.” 
The Hoopa Tribe sees water quality on the Klamath as an  issue that needs 
immediate attention to avoid another fish kill, like in 2002,  when over 
68,000 adult Chinook salmon died in warm, shallow, disease ridden  waters in the 
Klamath River. Action to improve the water quality is long  overdue. Even 
if the Klamath Settlements move through Congress, dam removal  would not 
occur until 2020. In the meantime, toxic blue green algae and other  
contaminants run rampant in the river. 
“The State Water Board has granted a series of such  delays,” Masten said. 
“The resolution they adopted last week will cause the  abeyance to lift if 
federal legislation is not enacted by May 17, 2011, a  whole year after the 
proposed timeline in the KHSA and KBRA settlements. They  have, in essence, 
given PacifiCorp, and themselves, more time to do  nothing.” 
Helpful  Links: 
To read the State Water Resources Control Board’s  discussion and 
resolution click _here_ 
To read the November 14, 2008 Agreement in Principle, news  release, and 
correspondence between the Secretary of Interior and PacifiCorp,  click _here_ 
To access the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement  and the Klamath 
Basin Restoration Agreement click _here_ 
To read more about the Hoopa Valley Tribe’s position on the  Klamath 
Settlements click _here_ (http://www.hoopafisheries.org/3336.html)  
Allie  Hostler 
Communications  Coordinator, HVT Fisheries 
P.O. Box  417 
Hoopa, CA  95546 
(530)625-4267  x12 
(530)739-2323  cell 

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