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Tracking measurable success on efforts across California to preserve and connect our Parks & Wildlife Corridors

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Klamath River Dam Removal Public Hearings

Dear Friends,

The State Water Resources Control Board is beginning the process to determine whether the water behind PacifiCorp’s Klamath River dams meets the clean water demands of the federal Clean Water Act. Without a "section 401" permit PacifiCorp cannot obtain a 50-year license to continue operation of the dams, which could lead to dam removal.

Make your voice heard! Please attend a hearing next week (or in Sacramento the following week) hosted by the Water Resources Board.

There will be five opportunities to make your opinions known:

Monday, Oct. 20 @ 1:30 Six Rivers National Forest1330 Bayshore Way, Eureka — north of Bayshore MallMonday, Oct. 20 @ 6 p.m. Yurok Tribe Headquarters190 Klamath Blvd. Klamath, CA

Tuesday, Oct. 21 @ 12 p.m., Karuk Community CenterHighway 96, Orelans, CATuesday, Oct. 21 @ 6 p.m. Union High School Student Union431 Knapp Street, Yreka, CA

Wednesday, Oct. 29 @ 3 p.m. California EPA Bldg., Byron Sher Auditorium1001 “I” Street Sacramento I have pasted some talking points below. Please don't hesitate to contact the NEC if you have questions. But please do attend the hearings. Bring a sign. Say something. Or just show up.

Thanks, Greg King
Executive DirectorNorthcoast Environmental Center

Talking Points:

The dangerous conditions created by dams is well known. The shallow, warm reservoirs behind the dams create massive plumes of blue-green algae, which produce the highly toxic microcystis aeruginosa at levels that sometimes reach 4,000 higher than the World Health Organizations considers a "moderate" risk to human health. The microcystis is so toxic it can actually kill a person. Imagine its impact on protected fish.As Eli Asarian and Patrick Higgins, of Kier Associates, point out in their May 30, 2007 Memorandum Report, Comments on Klamath River Nutrient, Dissolved Oxygen, and Temperature TMDL Implementation Plan Workplan Outline for CA (NCRWQCB, 2007), “The evidence showing links between KHP reservoirs and incidence of fish disease epidemics (Stocking and Bartholomew, 2004; in press); toxic algae blooms (Kann and Corum, 2006) and nutrient pollution (Kann and Asarian, 2005; Asarian and Kann, 2006) is very substantial.”In its letter to PacifiCorp the Water Resources Control Board itself noted that, " [T]here is substantial evidence to indicate an increase in fish disease on the river, an increase in the toxic blue-green algae Microcystis aeruginosa, and an overall decline in fish populations.”PacifiCorp’s dams pose a risk not just to recovery of salmonids, but overall survival of anadromous fishes in the Klamath River, including Coho salmon, protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

--Greg King
Executive Director
Northcoast Environmental Center
1465 G StreetArcata, CA 95521(707) 822-6918


Pacificorp's 265 page request for a license to keep the dams in operation: (2.8 megabyte file)

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