The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has issued a final certification for the removal of the J.C. Boyle Dam on the Klamath River, according to a press release received Monday from Klamath River Renewal Corporation.
The ODEQ determined removing the dam, located in Klamath County, would improve water quality on the river, restore a more “free-flowing condition” and have long-term benefits for fish populations, according to the press release.
The J.C. Boyle Dam is one four Pacific Corp.-owned dams on the Klamath River slated for removal. Stakeholders, including federal regulators, the states of California and Oregon, tribes and interest groups, began working towards dam removal in the early 2000s with a target date of 2020, the Triplicate reported in April.
As a result of the ODEQ’s final Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certification for the removal of the J.C. Boyle Dam, the Klamath River Renewal Corporation must implement certain conditions. According to the press release, these include developing plans for water quality management; measures to protect fish passage, suckers and the western pond turtle; reservoir area management; remaining facilities and site restoration; erosion and sediment control; spill responses; waste disposal; and others. The corporation will also provide water quality monitoring data and other reporting to the ODEQ.
The J.C. Boyle dam is part of the Lower Klamath Project, which also includes the Copco No. 1 and No. 2 dams and the Iron Gate dam in Siskiyou County.
The Klamath River Renewal Corporation is part of a cooperative effort to remove the dams and restore formerly inundated lands on the Klamath River. The corporation anticipates final certification from the California State Water Resources Board for the removal of the dams in California in 2019, according to the press release.
Applications with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) are pending. The corporation needs approval from FERC to transfer and surrender the dam licenses before it can move forward with the dam removal project.