Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Approves Klamath License Surrender
On November 17, 2022, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved license surrender for the Lower Klamath Project. The order may be viewed here. The unanimous vote is the final significant milestone in the regulatory process that began in 2002. Demolition is scheduled for summer 2024.
The Klamath River once had the second largest salmon fishery on the West Coast. The removal of the four dams that comprise the Lower Klamath Project will be the largest dam removal in history. The return to free-flowing conditions will restore the salmon fisheries and benefit Native American tribes, commercial fishers, and other communities throughout this river basin.
Klamath River Renewal Corporation and the States of California and Oregon will be co-licensees for the purpose of license surrender. PacifiCorp, as the current licensee, agreed to this outcome in the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement (2010, amended 2016).
Richard Roos-Collins is general counsel for the Renewal Corporation. It was the lead applicant for license surrender and will be responsible to implement the dam removal plans. John Bezdek was the lead Department of the Interior attorney negotiating the Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement under the Bush Administration and was the lead federal official for the Klamath Basin during the Obama Negotiation. As the lead federal official, John also oversaw the science and environmental review process relied upon by FERC in making this decision. Richard and John have more than thirty years combined experience on solutions in this river basin. Water and Power Law Group is honored to contribute to this landmark outcome.