The Bush Administration has just negotiated a preliminary agreement to work with the utility company PacifiCorp to tear down four aging dams on the Klamath River.
California and Oregon both publicly endorsed what would be the largest dam removal project in history.
Several pieces of the deal will have to be worked out, including the passage of federal and state legislation.
The deal’s $450 million pricetag would be paid partially by Oregon’s utility customers, including homeowners and farmers.
Also, California voters would have to approve a $200 million bond.
Mike Chrisman is California’s Secretary of Resources.
Mike Chrisman: “We’ve got a ways to go, but it is a landmark, historic agreement that we are looking forward to carrying to a final agreement, getting studies behind us, and getting dam removal in a few years.”
Earlier this year, farmers, fisherman, Indian tribes and conservation groups agreed to a $1 billion deal to stop fighting over the Klamath Basin water. But that deal was based on dam removal.
OPB has obtained a preliminary copy of the agreement.
According to it, the deal includes several ways for both sides to opt-out before dam removal would begin in the year 2020.