Oct. 31, 2017
Liz Writes Life
Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA
Stop the presses! Stop the presses! Klamath dam removal is not a “done deal” even though the new non-profit Klamath River Renewal Corp. claims the dams are coming out. Here are the truths in the matter.
It now looks like the 2016-created non-profit KRRC is trying to use old environmental assessments made during the days of the now defunct Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement group. But, because the defunct KBRA did not survive and did not complete its task of getting the Klamath dams destroyed, the new KRRC must engage in the regulatory processes and re-do the environmental assessments. Information and data made by KBRA is stale, old and in many instances flawed. Significant aspects of the science KBRA was using is downright fraudulent.
Huge is the fact that our Congressman Doug LaMalfa was able to stop the funding of $450 million in mitigation monies needed by KBRA to “fix” (ha, ha) the resulting muddy environment and loss of salmon runs. This effectively dissolved the KBRA. Our congressman and other conservatives on the congressional Natural Resources Committee stopped that funding, which had to be appropriated by the House. Yay!
Several things are happening regarding the dams and your help to save them is still needed.
First: Immediately write comments in support of saving the Klamath dams to FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Deadline is Nov. 5, 2017. These comments can be short and sent by email. You can find the e-address and a sample comment at my Liz Bowen.com website. If you want to handwrite a letter the address is: Kimberly Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20426.
You see, it is FERC that will decide if the four hydro-electric Klamath dams of Irongate, Copco 1 and 2 and JC Boyle should be relicensed from PacifiCorp to the KRRC. This is the last week for public comment. Let FERC know that Siskiyou residents are the real stakeholders and we need the dams.
Because the KBRA is no longer in existence and because the new KRRC is not a government agency, FERC is the federal agency now charged with a number of legal regulatory processes that must be accomplished before decisions can be made to relicense the dams to KRRC or agree the dams should be removed at all.
One of those processes is NEPA, the National Environmental Protection Act. Believe it or not, the old KBRA did two NEPA processes in 2010 and 2012, but neither were published with a decision; so they were tainted and led to a “no” decision. So even the KBRA spokespeople were lying when they claimed the dams were coming out!
NEPA must be done – with a decision made – before FERC can relicense the dams to anyone. Please include this little-known issue in your comment to FERC. A suggestion for your comment is: “Please be sure to finalize NEPA before making a relicensing decision.”
In fact, there is a list of legal processes that must be accomplished by FERC before the dams can be demolished. Some include the civil construction cost estimation in dam removal and restoration; and a number of answers regarding insurance coverage and bonding for the large demolition projects.
I’d like to thank our local advocacy groups like Siskiyou Water Users Assoc., Scott Valley Protect Our Water and Yreka Tea Party Patriots that have kept this Klamath dams situation alive and in the forefront. This is extremely important, because it can be easy to lose passion on these issues as government tends to drag these types of issue out for years.
But, the newest “good news” is that the legal battle can now begin. Folks have suggested for several years that groups and the county needs to sue. Guess what, you must have “standing” to sue and because the regulatory process had not been accomplished or done correctly, there literally was nothing that could stand up in court for lawsuits. See, once again, it has been a smoke screen of loud voices claiming the “done deal,” when it truly wasn’t finalized. It was a lie!
As part of this good news, on Oct. 17, 2017, the Siskiyou County Supervisors voted 5-0 to enter as an intervener with FERC. This gives the county that all-important “standing” allowing the county to engage in a legal process directly related to FERC’s analysis of license surrender. There is now a process occurring, where the courts can be petitioned.
Ray Haupt, Dist. 5 Siskiyou Co. Supervisor, told me, “This is only the beginning of the legal fight for our dams.” I believe him. Michael Kobseff is the chairman of our supervisors’ board and along with Ray affirmed at the Siskiyou Co. Cattlemen’s dinner, last Saturday night, the Klamath dam removal is not a done deal. Great news indeed!
We will have a parade this Saturday, Nov. 4th in Etna!
There are over 25 entries signed-up. Now we need our more military veterans to show up and participate. Michael Stapleton will have an 18-foot trailer with straw bales for our veterans to ride. Paul D’Alterio is a retired Air Force Major, who said he had a great time last year and he will participate again. Norm Malmberg, retired Navy Capt. who worked at the Pentagon, has also committed as have several previous Grand Marshals Ed Quigley, Ariel and Albert Facey. Any group that wants to show support of our soldiers can also enter, just call me at 530-467-3515.
Remember, we are influenced by military die-hards and the parade will be held even if it drizzles or rains.
Sad note: It looks like my Pie N Politics.com website has been hacked. It is down and I have yet to be able to fix it. So for now, I will be posting important info to my Liz Bowen.com website.
Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Check out her website Liz Bowen.com or call her at 530-467-3515.
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