Project Eligibility for Small Dam Removal

Projects will be deemed ineligible for the Program if: 1) sediments stored behind dam have a reasonable potential to contain environmental contaminants [dioxins, chlorinated pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), or mercury] beyond the freshwater probable effect levels (PELs) summarized in the NOAA Office of Response and Restoration’s Screening Quick Reference Table guidelines, or 2) the risk of significant loss or degradation of downstream spawning or rearing areas by sediment deposition is considered by RC and NMFS or CDFW engineers to be such that the project requires more detailed analysis. Sites shall be considered to have a reasonable potential to contain contaminants of concern if they are downstream of historical contamination sources such as lumber or paper mills, industrial sites, or intensive agricultural production going back several decades (since chlorinated pesticides were legal to purchase and use). In these cases, preliminary sediment sampling is advisable