Mt. Shasta Chamber plans meeting about dam removal opportunities

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality recently issued its water quality certification for the removal of J.C. Boyle Dam, located in Klamath County, Ore.

The Mt. Shasta Chamber of Commerce has scheduled an informational meeting regarding business opportunities for contractors in connection with dam removal on the Klamath River.

The Chamber says it wants local businesses to be aware of the many goods and services that will be required for the largest dam removal and environmental restoration effort in US history.

The Klamath River Renewal Corporation expects to have $450 million at its disposal to carry out the project.

Details will be provided during the meeting scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 19, from 3 to 5 p.m. at The Tree House Inn at 111 Morgan Way in Mount Shasta.

The KRRC is a private, independent nonprofit 501(c)(3) that was formed to take ownership of four PacifiCorp dams on the Klamath River, remove them, and “restore formerly inundated lands, and implement required mitigation measures in compliance with all applicable federal, state, and local regulations,” according to a press release.

KRRC expects the project to begin in 2021, with significant prep work performed in 2020. Some components of the project are happening now or will be happening in the immediate future, according to the release from Mt. Shasta Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jim Mullins and KRRC Community Liaison Dave Meurer.

“We understand that this project has been locally controversial, and we are not taking a pro or con position on dam removal,” the release states. “However, it appears that this project is moving forward and we believe that local businesses should understand opportunities to financially benefit from it. If the money will be spent, we want as much of it as possible to be spent in our area. There are other communities who are actively seeking contracts for this project.”

Among the goods and services that will be required for the project are: 

Surveying, quality control (inspection and material testing), heavy equipment operation (dozers, scrapers, backhoes, excavators, etc.), and manual construction labor (e.g. pipe installation, site cleanup, etc.);

Planting and irrigation installation, non-native plant control , drilling, explosive handling, truck driving, road grading and maintenance, fire break construction, material processing and stockpiling, and site security;

Construction workforce support, road improvement design, water pipeline design, recreation demolition and restoration design, road improvement and access road construction, including dust control.

The KRRC was formed by signatories of the amended Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement. Those signatories – including the States of California and Oregon, local governments, Tribal nations, dam owner PacifiCorp, irrigators, and several conservation and fishing groups – appointed KRRC to oversee the project, which involves removal of four dams: Copco, No. 1 & 2, and Iron Gate in Siskiyou County and JC Boyle in Klamath County, Ore.

KRRC’s work is funded by PacifiCorp customer surcharges and California Proposition 1 water bond funds.