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Environmental Impact Statements (EISs)

Draft Environmental Impact Statement for relicensing of the Klamath Hydroelectric Project No. 2082-027
Issued: September 25, 2006

Commission staff prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for relicensing of PacifiCorp's 161-megawatt Klamath Hydroelectric Project, located primarily on the Klamath River in Klamath County, Oregon and Siskiyou County, California. On average, the project generates 716,820 megawatt-hours of electricity annually. The project occupies 219 acres of lands of the United States, which are administered by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

The existing project consists of eight developments, seven of which are located on the Klamath River. PacifiCorp proposes to decommission the upstream-most East Side and West Side developments and to remove the Keno development, which has no generating facilities, from the project. The remaining project developments on the main stem of the Klamath River are J.C. Boyle, Copco No. 1, Copco No. 2, and Iron Gate. The proposed project also includes the existing Fall Creek development, located on a Klamath River tributary.

In this DEIS, Commission staff assessed the environmental and economic effects of:

  • Continuing to operate the project with no changes or enhancements (no-action alternative);
  • Operating the project as proposed by PacifiCorp (PacifiCorp's proposal);
  • Operating the project as proposed by PacifiCorp with additional or modified environmental measures (staff alternative);
  • Staff alternative with conditions filed by the Department's of the Interior and Commerce; and
  • Retirement of the Iron Gate and Copco No. 1 developments with additional or modified measures for the remaining developments.

The staff alternative incorporates most of PacifiCorp's proposed environmental measures, some with certain modifications. The staff alternative also includes 31 environmental measures additional to those proposed by PacifiCorp, including:

  • Implementation of an anadromous fish restoration plan, including design of fishways at project reaches targeted for restoration; and
  • Implementation of an adaptive spawning gravel augmentation program in the J.C. Boyle bypassed reach and downstream of Iron Gate dam.

Based on our detailed analysis of the environmental benefits and costs associated with the four alternatives considered in detail in this draft EIS, we conclude that the best alternative for the Klamath Hydroelectric Project would be to issue a new license consistent with the environmental measures specified in the Staff Alternative.

Comments must be filed by November 24, 2006.

Comments on this DEIS can be eFiled.