The California Water Resources Control Board asked PacifiCorp to resubmit its application for a water quality permit for the Klamath Hydroelectric Project. The company withdrew its application July 11, a day before a board hearing on the project. In an August 22 letter to PacifiCorp, the board\u2019s executive director Dorothy Rice stated that relicensing of the Klamath hydro dams is conditioned on California and Oregon certifying the Klamath River\u2019s water quality as mandated by the Clean Water Act. The water quality permits are the final regulatory hurdle PacifiCorp must surmount for relicensing the dams. \u201cIt is imperative to move ahead with the water quality certification process\u201d as quickly as possible, including conducting an environmental review of the Klamath project to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act, Rice stressed. Until the states complete their certification, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will be unable to issue a new license to PacifiCorp to continue operating the Klamath dams or to decommission them as many stakeholders advocate, Rice said. The environmental review is critical because the build up of toxic blue-green algae in the reservoirs behind the dams has impaired water quality on the Klamath, endangering fisheries and human health, Rice said. Delays in water quality certification will also postpone mitigation measures to restore the river\u2019s health or remove the dams. Klamath tribes accused PacifiCorp of stalling to preserve the status quo and profit from continuing operations of the dams without environmental safeguards. Craig Tucker of the Karuk tribe said there have been no settlement talks with PacifiCorp since the utility withdrew its water certification application from the State Water Board. \u201cThe Klamath gravy train is over for PacifiCorp once the relicensing process comes to an end,\u2019\u2019 charged Tucker, Klamath Campaign Coordinator. \u201cThus, the longer they can delay, the more money they make at the expense of the Klamath fishery and Klamath water quality.\u201d The five Klamath hydroelectric dams straddle the border in northern California and southern Oregon, generating 169 MW of hydro power for 70,000 PacifiCorp customers, about 1.7 percent of the company\u2019s total power supply. PacifiCorp\u2019s license for the Klamath hydro project expired three years ago. The company is seeking a new 50-year license from FERC. PacifiCorp pulled its application for water certification to facilitate settlement negotiations with stakeholders over relicensing, Art Sasse, a PacifiCorp spokesperson said. PacifiCorp has been negotiating for the past four years with Klamath Basin tribes, fishing interests, environmental groups, irrigators, and federal and state agencies over its relicensing application before FERC. Most stakeholders advocate removing the dams which block access to 350 miles of salmon and steelhead habitat above the dams. Last year, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration ordered PacifiCorp to install costly fish ladders at the dams and screens to protect juvenile fish from being sucked up in the spinning turbines as a condition for relicensing. The California Energy Commission and the U.S. Department of the Interior estimated that it would cost $101 million more to install the prescribed fish passages than to remove the dams. Removing the dams would save PacifiCorp ratepayers up to $285 million a year for 30 years, the agencies concluded. Rice asked PacifiCorp to resubmit a water quality certification application by September 30, 2008, if no settlement is reached by then.