[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 113 (Monday, June 14, 2010)]
[Pages 33634-33635]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-14174]



Bureau of Reclamation

Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement, Including Secretarial 
Determination on Whether to Remove Four Dams on the Klamath River in 
California and Oregon

AGENCY: Department of the Interior.

ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement/
Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR) and notice of public scoping 


SUMMARY: Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 
(NEPA), as amended, and the California Environmental Quality Act 
(CEQA), the Department of the Interior (Department), through the Bureau 
of Reclamation (Reclamation), and the California Department of Fish and 
Game (CDFG) intend to prepare an EIS/EIR. The Department and CDFG will 
conduct public scoping meetings to solicit comments concerning the 
issues, alternatives, and analyses to be considered in the evaluation 
of whether to remove four dams on the Klamath River pursuant to the 
terms of the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement (KHSA). Section 
3.3.1 of the KHSA states: ``Based upon the record, environmental 
compliance and other actions described in Section 3.2, and in 
cooperation with the Secretary of Commerce and other Federal agencies 
as appropriate, the Secretary shall determine whether, in his judgment, 
the conditions of Section 3.3.4 have been satisfied, and whether, in 
his judgment, Facilities Removal (i) will advance restoration of the 
salmonid fisheries of the Klamath Basin, and (ii) is in the public 
interest, which includes but is not limited to consideration of 
potential impacts on affected local communities and Tribes.''
    In light of this potential determination by the Secretary of the 
Interior (Secretary) pursuant to the KHSA, the public and agencies are 
invited to comment on the scope of the EIS/EIR and potential 
alternatives including, but not limited to: (1) How other potential 
actions within the KHSA should be analyzed in this EIS/EIR, and (2) the 
nature and extent to which the potential environmental impacts of 
implementing the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (KBRA) should be 
analyzed in this EIS/EIR.

DATES: Written comments on the scope of the EIS/EIR and potential 
alternatives to be analyzed are requested within 30 days of the 
publication of this notice. Oral comments will also be accepted during 
the public scoping meetings. Please see the Supplementary Information 
section for public scoping meeting dates and locations.

ADDRESSES: Please send written comments to Ms. Tanya Sommer, Bureau of 
Reclamation, 2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento, CA 95825, or by e-mail to 
[email protected]. Written comments may also be submitted during the 
public scoping meetings. Please see the Supplementary Information 
section for meeting locations and dates.

Reclamation, 916-978-6153, [email protected], for technical information. 
For public involvement information, please contact Mr. Matt Baun, U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, 530-841-3119, [email protected].



    Conflicts over water and other natural resources in the Klamath 
Basin between conservationists, tribes, farmers, fishermen, and State 
and Federal agencies have existed for decades. In particular, several 
developments affecting the Klamath Basin have occurred in the last 
several years. These developments include:

--In 2001, water deliveries to irrigation contractors to Reclamation's 
Klamath Project were substantially reduced.
--In 2002, returning adult salmon suffered a major die-off.
--In 2006, the commercial salmon fishing season was closed along 700 
miles of the West Coast to protect weak Klamath River stocks.
--In 2010, due to drought conditions, the project is forecasting a 
curtailment of deliveries that could result in the potential short-term 
idling of farmland and increased groundwater pumping.
--In 2010, the c'waam (Lost River suckers) fishery for the Klamath 
Tribes has been closed for the 24th year, limiting the Tribes to only a 
ceremonial harvest.

    Since 2003, the United States has spent over $500 million in the 
Klamath Basin for irrigation, fisheries, National Wildlife Refuges, and 
other resource enhancements and management actions. Consequently, the 
United States, the States of California and Oregon, the Klamath, Karuk, 
and Yurok Tribes, Klamath Project Water Users, and other Klamath River 
Basin stakeholders negotiated the KBRA and the KHSA (including the 
Secretarial Determination) to resolve long-standing disputes between 
them regarding a broad range of natural resource issues. The agreements 
are intended to result in effective and durable solutions which: (1) 
Restore and sustain natural fish production and provide for full 
participation in ocean and river harvest of fish species throughout the 
Klamath Basin; (2) establish reliable water and power supplies which 
sustain agricultural uses, communities, and National Wildlife Refuges; 
and (3) contribute to the public welfare and the sustainability of all 
Klamath Basin communities. It is the conclusion of the United States 
that in order to reach these goals, both agreements must be authorized 
and implemented.
    Ongoing programs that may be expanded include habitat restoration 
and fish population monitoring

[[Page 33635]]

activities being conducted by Federal, Tribal, and State governments 
and agencies, fish disease research activities, continued 
implementation of Reclamation's Pilot Water Bank Program, and programs 
to improve fish passage and screen irrigation diversions.
    New programs that may be established by the KBRA include a 
Fisheries Restoration Plan, Fisheries Reintroduction Plan, Fisheries 
Monitoring Plan, Water Diversion Limitation and Pumping Plan, Water 
Rights Purchase Plan, Drought Plan, Environmental Water Plan, Counties' 
Impacts-Mitigation and Benefits Program, Tribal Programs, establishment 
of wildlife refuge water allocation, and additional water conservation 
and storage actions.
    The KHSA lays out the process for additional studies, environmental 
review, and a decision by the Secretary regarding whether removal of 
four dams owned by PacifiCorp: (1) Will advance the restoration of the 
salmonid fisheries of the Klamath Basin, and (2) is in the public 
interest, which includes, but is not limited to, consideration of 
potential impacts on affected local communities and tribes.

 Purpose and Need and Proposed Action

    The purpose of the proposed Federal action is to advance 
restoration of the salmonid fisheries in the Klamath Basin that is in 
the public interest, and is consistent with the KHSA and the KBRA. 
Pursuant to the KHSA, the Secretary needs to make a determination 
whether to proceed with the removal of the four PacifiCorp Dams on the 
Klamath River. The proposed action is to make a determination, pursuant 
to the KHSA, as to whether removal of the four lower dams on the 
Klamath River to achieve a free-flowing condition and allow full 
volitional passage of fish is in the public interest, will advance 
restoration of the salmonid fishery and is consistent with statutory 
obligations and tribal rights. The potential impacts of any connected 
actions, including any such actions under the KBRA, will be analyzed.

Environmental Issues and Resources To Be Examined

    The EIS/EIR will be used to inform the Secretary when making his 
decision regarding implementation of the KHSA and any potential follow-
on programs that may be implemented as part of the KBRA. If, pursuant 
to the KHSA, the Secretary's decision is affirmative, the EIS/EIR will 
be used by the Governors of the States of California and Oregon to 
inform each whether to concur in that determination. The EIS/EIR will 
include analysis and disclosures of the effects on the quality of the 
human and physical environment that may occur as a result of 
implementation of the KHSA and any potential follow-on programs 
including those programs in the KBRA. Issues to be addressed may 
include, but are not limited to, impacts on biological resources, 
historic and archaeological resources, geomorphology, hydrology, water 
quality, air quality, safety, hazardous materials and waste, visual 
resources, socioeconomics, including real estate, and environmental 

Public Scoping Sessions

    The Department and CDFG will hold six public information and 
scoping meetings according to the dates and locations listed below. 
Oral and written comments will be accepted at the public meetings.
    Dates, Times, and Locations:
     Wednesday, July 7, 2010, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Copco 
Community Center, 27803 Copco Road, Montague, CA 96064.
     Wednesday, July 7, 2010, 6 p.m. to 9 pm, Yreka Community 
Center, 810 N. Oregon Street, Yreka, CA 96097.
     Thursday, July 8, 2010, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Klamath County 
Fairgrounds, 3531 S. 6th Street, Klamath Falls, OR 97603.
     Friday, July 9, 2010, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Chiloquin 
Community Center, 140 First Street, Chiloquin, OR 97624.
     Tuesday, July 13, 2010, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Chetco 
Activities Center, 550 Chetco Way, Brookings, OR 97415.
     Wednesday, July 14, 2010, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Arcata 
Community Center, 321 Community Park Way, Arcata, CA 95521.
     Thursday July 15, 2010, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Karuk Tribe 
Community Room, 39051 Highway 96, Orleans, CA 95556.

Public Disclosure

    Before including your name, address, phone number, e-mail address, 
or other personal identifying information in your comment, please be 
aware that your entire comment--including your personal identifying 
information--may be made publicly available at any time. While you can 
ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying 
information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be 
able to do so.

    Dated: June 7, 2010.
Dennis Lynch,
 Program Manager, Klamath Basin Secretarial Determination.
[FR Doc. 2010-14174 Filed 6-11-10; 8:45 am]