Friday, July 24, 2009

Sediment Sampling Critical for Gold Ray Dam Removal

Scientists are studying the layers of sediment that have built up behind southern Oregon's Gold Ray Dam. The 105 year old dam which was decommissioned but not removed 37 years ago may be slated for removal, that is if the sediment built up behind the dam isn't too full of contaminants. If tests show acceptably low levels of contaminants such as mercury, arsenic and pesticides the dam could be removed and the river allowed to naturally transport the trapped sediments. If levels are too high to meet EPA guidlines the project could be delayed. Sediment behing Savage Rapids dam, located just down stream and removed this year met EPA guidelines. Currently money is provided for the removal by the federal stimulus, however it must be used before the end of 2010. Should Gold Ray be removed the Rogue would flow freely for 157 miles to the Ocean. See the Oregonian Article

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