Plan To Raze 4 Dams On California-Oregon Line Clears Hurdle

"PORTLAND — A proposal to bring down four hydroelectric dams near the California-Oregon border cleared a major regulatory hurdle Thursday, setting the stage for the largest dam demolition project in U.S. history to save imperiled migratory salmon.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission action comes after the demolition proposal almost fell apart last summer, but then a new agreement and additional funding revived it. Thursday’s ruling will allow the utility that runs the dams, PacifiCorp, to transfer its hydroelectric license jointly to the nonprofit Klamath River Renewal Corporation, Oregon and California.

Regulators still must approve the actual surrender of the license. Dam removal could start in 2023.

Tribes on the lower Klamath River that have watched salmon struggle applauded the decision. It came the same week that California accepted a petition to add Klamath River spring chinook salmon to the state’s endangered species list."

Gillian Flaccus reports for the Associated Press June 17, 2021.

Source: AP, 06/18/2021