Thursday, May 24, 2018

Federal Commission Approves Advisory Panel for Klamath Dam Removal Effort

Posted By on Thu, May 24, 2018 at 1:12 PM

click to enlarge Irongate Dam on the upper Klamath River. - FILE
  • File
  • Irongate Dam on the upper Klamath River.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved a proposal from the nonprofit organization formed to facilitate removal of the four hydroelectric dams clogging the Klamath River to form a panel of experts to help guide the process.

Mark Bransom, executive director of the Klamath River Renewal Corporation, praised the commission’s decision in a press release.

“KRRC is pleased that FERC has approved KRRC’s panel of nationally recognized experts to serve as the (board of consultants) for the Klamath River Renewal Project,” he said. “We are confident that this approved (board) will provide fully independent review of the Klamath River Renewal Project, as required by FERC.”

click to enlarge North Coast Congressman Jared Huffman, shortly before the signing of an agreement to remove four hydroelectric dams along the Klamath River. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • North Coast Congressman Jared Huffman, shortly before the signing of an agreement to remove four hydroelectric dams along the Klamath River.
The board is comprised of people with expertise in dam construction and removal, engineering, aquatic and terrestrial biology, construction cost estimating, insurance and bonding for large infrastructure projects, according to the release.

Under the new removal deal reached in February of 2016, dam removal is slated to begin by 2020. Read past Journal coverage of the deal and the removal process here and see the full press release, which includes a summary of each of the newly approved board members, copied below:

From the Klamath River Renewal Corporation:

KRRC Statement on FERC’s Approval of Board of Consultants

San Francisco, Calif. – Mark Bransom, executive director of the Klamath River Renewal Corporation (KRRC), released the following statement today in response to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) approval of KRRC’s proposed panel of experts to serve as Independent Board of Consultants (BOC):

“KRRC is pleased that FERC has approved KRRC’s panel of nationally recognized experts to serve as the BOC for the Klamath River Renewal Project. We are confident that this approved BOC will provide fully independent review of the Klamath River Renewal Project, as required by FERC.

“Due to the broad scope and unique nature of the dam removal project, FERC required KRRC to convene a BOC. Drawing from FERC’s pre-approved list of engineering and construction experts, and adding resources in fields of river restoration and insurance, KRRC submitted its proposed makeup of the BOC to FERC on March 22, 2018. FERC has now approved the proposal and established procedures for the BOC’s work, including public participation.

“The scope of the BOC review extends to all aspects of the proposed dam removal process, including financial feasibility. The first task the BOC will undertake is to review the project’s cost estimates, as well as the proposed insurance and bonding coverages. Over the course of the project, we anticipate that the BOC’s additional reviews will enhance design and construction plans and may lead to construction efficiencies and cost savings.

“The individuals on the BOC have expertise in dam construction and removal, engineering, aquatic and terrestrial biology, construction cost estimating, insurance, and bonding for large infrastructure projects. Members of the BOC include:

• Dan Hertel, PE (Engineering Solutions, LLC): Mr. Hertel has a 35-year background in the construction of dams, pipelines, tunnels, and other water resource projects. He is an expert in dam construction, heavy-civil construction, and cost estimating. Primary areas of specialization include construction cost estimating, constructability review, construction management, and value engineering. Experience includes oversight of estimating operations including project selection, risk assessment, personnel assignments, constructability analysis, cost estimating, contract review, and bid review. Dan is currently serving on the FERC Board of Consultants for the Anderson Dam Seismic Retrofit Project.
• James Borg, PE (D&H Concepts, LLC): Mr. Borg has more than 43 years of domestic and international experience in water resources and has served as project manager and project engineer on spillway, dam, and canal rehabilitation projects; project manager on build-operate-transfer and design-build project developments for construction contractors; and has prepared hydropower development layouts and conducted constructability reviews for the evaluation of project feasibility. James has experience serving as a hydraulic structure expert on an Independent Board of Review for two FERC-licensed hydro projects and an international treaty arbitration assignment.
• Craig Findlay, PhD, GE (Findlay Engineering, Inc.): Dr. Findlay’s 40 years in the dam safety, water resources and geotechnical engineering profession include a broad variety of consulting and project engineering experience, more than 33 years of which have included involvement with dams and hydroelectric projects. He has served as technical lead or lead geotechnical engineer on hundreds of dam-related projects and serves on ongoing and past Boards of Consultants and Review Panels.
• Mary Louise Keefe, PhD (R2 Resource Consultants, Inc.): Dr. Keefe has participated in and/or managed aquatic ecosystem-based projects for the past 27 years. She brings broad experience from working with many different species and habitats located at a variety of water resource projects across the country, including California, Alaska, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and in Manitoba, Canada. Dr. Keefe has experience with FERC. Earlier in her career, she spent 7.5 years at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Research Section studying Endangered Species Act listed salmon and steelhead.
• Ted Chant, PE (Chant Unlimited): Mr. Chant has over 40 years of experience performing a full range of management functions in both large and small hydroelectric development and water control/management infrastructure projects in Canada and the United States. Specific experience involves hydroelectricity construction risk identification and mitigation, constructability review, cost certainty, execution planning and management (safety, cost, quality, and schedule), continuous improvement and value optimization.
• Robert Muncil, ARM (Cool Insurance Agency, Inc.): Mr. Muncil is a licensed insurance broker and an Associate in Risk Management, with over 35 years of experience in the hydropower industry dealing with insurance, bonding, claims and evaluating risks. He is a frequent panelist and speaker at national conferences on the hydroelectric power industry and has published several articles about insurance and risk management issues related to the hydropower industry. Mr. Muncil advises his clients through all phases of their projects, from construction to operation, and is supported by over 100 insurance professionals.”

###


About KRRC
The Klamath River Renewal Corporation (KRRC) is an independent nonprofit organization formed in 2016 as part of the amended Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement (KHSA). KRRC is part of a cooperative effort to re-establish the natural vitality of the Klamath River so that it can support all communities in the basin. Signatories of the amended KHSA, including the States of California and Oregon, local governments, Tribal nations, dam owner PacifiCorp, irrigators, and several conservation and fishing groups, appointed KRRC to take ownership of four PacifiCorp dams — JC Boyle, Copco, No. 1 & 2, and Iron Gate — and then remove these dams, restore formerly inundated lands, and implement required mitigation measures in compliance with all applicable federal, state, and local regulations. KRRC’s work is funded by PacifiCorp customer surcharges and California Proposition 1 water bond funds.

KRRC values transparency and cooperation with all stakeholders and is committed to working with residents and governments to minimize any nuisance or negative impacts while enhancing the project’s local benefits. The people of the Klamath basin will continue to work together during and after dam removal to take further steps toward a shared, sustainable future.

More information about KRRC and its mission can be found at the KRRC’s website:
www.klamathrenewal.org.

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