Delay in Emergency Declaration – Mounting Issues & Repeated Mistakes During Delays

TO:  Siskiyou County Board of Spervisors

CC: Concerned Citizens, Et. Al. 

RE: Delay in Declaring Emergency due to serious adverse impacts stemming from  

       actions of KRRC and the Klamath Dam Removal

March 21, 2024 – Via Email – Open Letter – PublicGreetings Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors:

There’s a saying that we all need to keep in mind:

“Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it”

Seems that the Board is repeating history and citizens are suffering the results.

I am seriously asking the board to recall these points in regard any/all upcoming promises from KRRC, FERC and/or the Water Board:

*How many times when Mark Bransom and/or Ren Brownell have been asked a question that they should easily have the answer to, but the answer provides facts inconvenient to their narratives, so they simply side-step the Board’s question, saying;  ‘I don’t know, I will have to get back to you”, and and so far they haven’t gotten back to anyone with answers to any questions.  Citizens can cite many occurrences.  Have they ever answered any deferred questions from the Board? 

*Did you know that there is a rumor from many sources that a security guard working for KRRC was the one who drove into the lane of the family with 4-children, killing both parents and orphaning the children, as well as killing the driver of the that white Dodge pickup truck on Dec. 31, 2023?  And that accident information was held back until just recently? Cover up of anything negative related to dam removal seems evident… 

*How many promises to the County and the Citizens has KRRC already broken? The record shows several at least.

*How many times when something goes terribly wrong and was not modeled or anticipated have Mark Bransom and/or Ren Brownell said, “It was expected”.  And then they run-around and tell the news stations the same, thus covering-up important adverse impacts that people need to know about.

*Did you know that Mark Bransom is currently lying to the press (KCRC Ch. 7), by telling them that they are “shoveling sand and gravel” into the Klamath River and it’s tributaries, when the published science by GEC on the sediments in the lake beds shows it’s 78% Clay?  And they are NOT screening the sediments to build piles of sand and gravel…  they are dumping sediments straight into the River and it’s tributaries!  Clay and silt are the only sediments that can stay in the confluent of river water for 180-miles to the Sea, and be seen via Satellite!  Sand & gravel don’t do that!

Klamath undamming ahead of schedule while county officials find heavy metal contamination

*How many reports from FERC, the Water Board and KRRC are missing or held back from the purview of the board using all kinds of excuses, that should have been timely provided to the Board

*Why did the KRRC go off plan and dewater the lakes in just a few days (starting Jan. 23, 2024), when the well publicized and socialized PLAN to dewater the Lakes showed it happening over nearly 2-months? 

Could it have been they knew the USGS sediment report was coming out on Jan. 31st and showed heavy metals in the water and sediments in the River above and below the Lakes?  

*This Board incorrectly assumed that the so-called KRRC ‘Mitigation Fund’ would be addressing the financial impacts of the dam removal project, when it’s quite clear they are not! 

In fact, there are questions as to the financial solvency of the so-called Mitigation Fund and ability to address the damages that have been created… I.E. offering people $5k for a loss of well settlement is just 10% of actual cost, and demonstrates an inability or incapacity to do what’s economically fair for residents. Moreover, like KRRC, they continue to ignore certified mail and phone calls seeking responsive answers, which have not been forthcoming.

*How many times have I personally asked this Board if they have read the CDM Smith Report on the lake bed sediments (metals and organic toxins) and/or the Gethard Engineering Consulting report from 2006 on the sediments only to find that none have done so? 

Making matters more frustrating is when my partner (a Masters in Science and worked at the Davis Environmental Testing Lab) take the time to wade through the 400-pages of those two reports and synthesis the executive summary, that is also ignored or brushed-off. 

Many Siskiyou County citizens feel that this Board has forgotten its oath and obligation that it has a priority of duty to serve and protect it’s citizen/taxpayers, NOT to serve KRRC’s corporate agenda, or make life easy on them at the grave expense of Siskiyou County citizens. 

Further dithering in dealing with KRRC’s shenanigans accomplishes nothing, except to give KRRC more time to stick-it to the citizens, while making a mockery of Siskiyou County and its Board of Supervisors in the process. 

The delay in passing the Emergency Proclamation was a huge tactical mistake and that is clear to everyone, including the Lawyers from law firm exploring litigation against KRRC and others, who know their business.

I was informed yesterday that we now have a documented medical case of a 12-year old child living on the Klamath River in Siskiyou County who developed a nose bleed recently. He was taken to the doctor when his mother learned of the heavy metals showing up in the River. They ran blood tests and the child is showing elevated Chromium levels.  How did this child get his exposure? Playing along the river bank in the mud? The water? Their well?  Doesn’t really matter does it… he’s got abnormal Chromium levels in his blood tests. And who else may have that and other toxins in their blood and tissues already?   There is a huge amount of exposure here.

This Board is responsible for the Health Safety and Welfare of the Citizens! 

Simple, well-established science tells anyone who can read that the remaining sediments will continue to make the River a toxic and polluted mess.

I suggest this board read this researched article and learn WHY that is a FACT:

The same article is attached as a PDF.

The assumption made by one Board member, that the chances of getting state help or aid is low make the ASK via a Emergency Declaration a waste of time is highly flawed!

If we don’t ask, we get ‘0’.   Even if the chance of getting some aid is 5% that is infinitely better than ‘0’.

The REASON this County is in the pickle it’s in now is because it FAILED early-on to get National Media Attention to what is happening and what has happened. The County was reckless by allowing the Dam Removal people to control the media stories by failing of use County PR to tell our side! And doing the same now, by covering-up and NOT declaring the emergency does the same thing yet again!

Leading from behind and reactively is NOT leadership

Being reactive instead of pro-active is why this County is failing its Citizens. No vision!

Thanks to the delay by the Board on declaring an Emergency Proclamation, these Eco-Terrorists (Trout Unlimited, and other associated activists) will gather their entire memberships via emails and have them call-in next week on ZOOM to comment. Plus many more will show up in person. 

These outside influences will put an undue burden of time on County residents who take the time and expense to show up to the Board meetings.  That is not equitable!

These pro-dam-removal activists who live outside of our County, and do not pay local property taxes, should not be afforded the same time for comments as locals who pay the taxes (the bills) here and live on the Klamath River as our citizens do. The political example of this suggested limiting process is well exampled by the CA State representatives whose websites automatically cull commenters who live outside their jurisdictions using address data. 

It seems reasonable that Siskiyou County residents should have priority in time and consideration over organized agitators from outside our County.  

I expect that the ZOOM call-in line will be jammed with pro-dam removal activists who largely reside outside our County and even outside of the State. This Board must not allow them to dilute the comment period or the will of local taxpaying citizens during the Meeting on March 26th. 

The County’s failure to reach the National Media is what has allowed the Dam Removal Eco-terrorists to dominate the national news cycle, which they WILL continue to do unless we declare an Emergency.  

I strongly urge this Board to declare the local emergency this Tuesday, March 26th without any further delay.

Thank you!

William E. Simpson II – Siskiyou County Resident – Rancher

P.S. We have yet another Lab Test showing elevated levels of metals:

cover photo: Siskiyou News Art

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