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Performance Report

Water Quality Certification Program

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Project No. 2082
Project Name: Klamath Hydroelectric Project (Project)

Copco No. 1 Dam
Applicant: PacifiCorp Energy
County: Klamath and Siskiyou
License Expiration Date: March 1, 2006
Water Quality Certification Status: Underway. Abeyance lifted July 1, 2013
Waterbodies: Klamath River & Fall Creek
FERC Licensing Process: Traditional License Process (TLP)

Project Description:

The Project is located on the upper Klamath River and Fall Creek in Klamath County, Oregon and Siskiyou County, California. The nearest cities are Klamath Falls located at the northern end of the Project area and Yreka located 20 miles southwest of the Project’s downstream end.

The proposed Project as described in the February 23, 2004, FERC license application consists of: (1) East Side Powerhouse; (2) West Side Powerhouse; (3) Keno; (4) Fall Creek Powerhouse (located on Fall Creek a Klamath River tributary); (5) J.C. Boyle; (6) Copco No.1; (7) Copco No.2; and (8) Iron Gate [Project Map]. PacifiCorp proposed to remove Keno from the Project and to decommission East Side and West Side powerhouses. The five remaining developments would be operated in a manner similar to past operations with the addition of environmental measures.

The installed capacity of the Project is 169 megawatts (MW) and the long term average annual generation of the Project is 715,879 MW hours. The Project operates under a license issued in 1956. State Water Board staff has been involved throughout the FERC relicensing process which began in late 2000.

The anadromous fish populations in the Klamath River watershed have declined significantly in recent years, which may be related to various factors including fish passage blockage, parasitic fish diseases in the watershed, and poor water quality. The Klamath River is currently listed as an impaired waterbody for nutrients, temperature, microcystin, and dissolved oxygen (map of impairment). Blue-green algal blooms occur in the Klamath River downstream of Iron Gate Dam and in Iron Gate and Copco Reservoirs. Two of these toxic blue-green algae are Anabaena flos-aquae and Microcystis aeruginosa. A. flos-aquea produces neurotoxins and M. aeruginosa produces microcystin, a liver toxin. These algal blooms have led to the annual issuance of state health advisories during the late summer and early fall (heath advisory poster).

Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement and Abeyances

PacifiCorp; interested state, tribal, and local government agencies; non-governmental organizations; and other stakeholders negotiated the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement (KHSA) and executed it on February 18, 2010. The KHSA provides a framework for implementation of a decision regarding the removal of four Project dams: (1) J.C. Boyle; (2) Copco No.1; (3) Copco No.2; and (4) Iron Gate. Implementing the dam removal process outlined in the KHSA depends on enactment of federal legislation to halt the FERC relicensing process and to grant the Secretary of the United States Department of the Interior the authority to determine whether dam removal is in the public interest and would advance salmon restoration. Under the KHSA, dam removal is scheduled to occur in 2020. In the KHSA, PacifiCorp agreed to implement certain “Interim Measures” in the time period prior to dam removal that would address water quality problems in the Klamath River.

Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement

The Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (KBRA) is a companion agreement to the KHSA intended to resolve disputes regarding the amount, timing, and other conditions of water diversions and delivery for agriculture, National Wildlife Refuges, and related uses within the Bureau of Reclamation’s Klamath Reclamation Project and by non-federal entities in the Upper Klamath Basin related to instream flows and lake levels. The KBRA also includes extensive habitat restoration. On December 29, 2012, the KBRA was amended. Among the amendments is a revised federal legislative timeline.

Related Documents

2015 California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA):

Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement:

Amended Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement (April 6, 2016)

2016 Agreement in Principal (February 2, 2016)

Klamath Facilities Removal Draft EIS/EIR:

Requests for Abeyance & Restart of Water Quality Certification Process, Associated Correspondence & Resolutions:

Klamath Agreement-in-Principal Status Report:

2008 California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA):

Klamath Hydroelectric Project 401 Water Quality Certification Applications:

2008 Water Quality Study Plan:

Proposed 2008 Study Plans

2008 Study Plan Correspondence

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA):

North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board:

(Updated 5/9/16 )