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Proposed removal of Klamath River dams to cost over $400M

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Proposed removal of Klamath River dams to cost over $400M

The removal of four hydro facilities from the Klamath River in southern Oregon and Northern California will cost approximately $433.7 million, according to a July 29 filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

That latest estimate includes all expenditures to date and future cost of planning, oversight, construction, and mitigation, as well as the costs of insurance, bonds, and indemnification, according to the filing.

All four projects could be removed as early as 2022, according to the filing. An original deadline, set in 2016, aimed to have the dams razed by 2020.

The Klamath River Renewal Corp., a Berkeley, Calif.-based nonprofit, submitted plans for the decommissioning and eventual scrapping of the Iron Gate (Klamath Hydroelectric Project), John C Boyle (Klamath Hydroelectric Project), Copco 1 (Klamath Hydroelectric Project) and Copco 2 (Klamath Hydroelectric Project) dams with FERC in 2018. The four facilities make up the Klamath Hydroelectric Project.

The filings are part of a proceeding in which FERC is considering whether to transfer the dams' operating license from Berkshire Hathaway Inc. subsidiary PacifiCorp to the Klamath River Renewal Corp.

Klamath River Renewal is seeking to acquire, decommission and raze the dams because they block an upstream habitat for migratory fish, including salmon.