FERC requests more information before final approval for Iron Gate Dam

KLAMATH RIVER, Calif. – The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is asking for more information before giving final approval for the removal of Iron Gate Dam along the Klamath River.

Douglas Johnson, a Regional Engineer with FERC says the letter is in response to documents related to the decommissioning of the dams within the Lower Klamath Project submitted by Mark Bransom, CEO of the Klamath River Renewal Corp.

Following a review of said documents, Johnson indicates six issues that need to be addressed prior to FERC’s authorization of the Iron Gate Dam removal.

Those include submitting an updated schedule after removal methods and/timelines changed, a proposed design for the headwall/wingwall with a detailed description of how they will be installed, as well as a detailing the penstock intake tower removal procedure. FERC is also requesting a review of the early breach contingency plan, that includes how the breach plug will be removed without excavation equipment being submerged if need be and a response to the Kiewit Corporation’s notification to abort the Iron Gate Development drilling program, a section of the proposed project that was deemed unnecessary for the dam removal.

Representatives with the California Department of Water Resources say FERC has not refused anything to date, and it is normal for it to request additional information in order to make an informed decision on projects like the final dam removal. DWR says the dam removal work so far has been progressing safely and on schedule.

Representatives have been given 60 days from the date of the letter, April 9, to provide responses or a plan and schedule to address the issues listed.

Klamath River Renewal Corporation CEO Mark Bransom told NBC5 this letter is part of an ongoing review and is routine for this type of project. He says they will make a filing with FERC in the next week to address the removal process and request final approval.

According to Bransom, the Iron Gate Dam is still on track to start being removed mid-May by the contracting company Kiewit.

Read the full letter here.

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Taylar Ansures is a producer and reporter for NBC5 News. Taylar is from Redding, California and went to California State University, Chico. After graduating, she joined KRCR News Channel 7 in Redding as a morning producer. She moved to Southern Oregon in 2022 to be closer to family and became KTVL News 10’s digital producer. Taylar is currently finishing her Master's Degree in Professional Creative Writing through the University of Denver. In her free time, Taylar frequents independent bookstores and explores hiking trails across Southern Oregon and Northern California.
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