Removing Klamath dams estimated to cost more than $400 mil

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. (AP) — Removing four hydroelectric dams along the lower Klamath River in Southern Oregon and Northern California is expected to cost just under $434 million and could happen by 2022, according to a new filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The Capital Press reports the nonprofit Klamath River Renewal Corp. submitted plans with FERC in 2018 to decommission and demolish J.C. Boyle, Copco Nos. 1 and 2 and Iron Gate dams, which block about 400 miles of upstream habitat for migratory salmon and steelhead.

Regulators are now considering whether to transfer the dams’ operating license from PacifiCorp to KRRC before the project can move forward. A general contractor, Kiewit Infrastructure West Co. of Fairfield, Calif., is already on board and working on a plan for razing the dams.

But first, KRRC must answer questions from a six-member independent board of consultants appointed by the feds to prove they have the money, insurance and contingency for such a large proposal.