Oregon Water Quality Certification

KRRC has received a Clean Water Act Section 401 certification from Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) for the removal of J.C. Boyle Dam, located in Klamath County, OR. This final water quality certification is a significant milestone for KRRC, as it is one of many major permits and approvals KRRC requires to proceed with dam removal.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) issued its final Clean Water Act Section 401 certification (401 certification) on September 7, 2018 to KRRC for the proposed removal of the J.C. Boyle hydroelectric development located in Klamath County, Oregon. This 401 certification specifically addresses KRRC’s proposed actions located in Oregon. ODEQ’s 401 certification conditionally affirms that the KRRC’s dam removal project will comply with all applicable water quality standards, limitations, and restrictions set by Oregon law and the federal Clean Water Act.

ODEQ found that dam removal is expected to restore the river to more natural, free-flowing conditions, improve water quality, and provide net benefits to fish populations in the Klamath River over the long-term. Dam removal will improve habitat and access for salmon and trout and reduce production of nuisance algae and fish disease. ODEQ found that the adverse impacts from dam removal will be short term: elevated suspended sediment concentrations and dissolved oxygen reductions will be limited to the first 24 months after the start of reservoir drawdown.

Before issuing the final 401 certification, ODEQ undertook an intense and rigorous evaluation of the existing science on impacts to water quality and aquatic species from the proposed dam removal. The ODEQ process included an open and transparent public review and comment process to ensure all interested parties had an opportunity to provide input.

The California State Water Resources Control Board (California Water Board) issued its draft 401 certification on June 7, 2018 for the proposed removal of Copco No. 1, Copco No. 2, and Iron Gate, located in Siskiyou County, CA. KRRC anticipates it will receive a final 401 certification from the California Water Board in 2019.