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Chehalis River Flood Damage Reduction Project Environmental Impact Statement

Project status: Project proposed. We’re preparing for environmental review. The scoping period opens Sept. 28, 2018.

The Chehalis River Basin Flood Control Zone District is proposing to build a new floodwater retention structure and temporary reservoir near Pe Ell in Lewis County, and make improvements at the Chehalis-Centralia Airport.

Our role will be to:

  • Conduct the state environmental review process under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA).
  • Offer public engagement opportunities.
  • After the environmental review, issue environmental permits consistent with state and federal laws and rules should the project proceed.

The lead federal environmental review agency is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) who will conduct a separate review under the National Environmental Policy Act.
We and the USACE will each develop a separate Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to evaluate the project. All permit decisions must wait until the assessment is complete.

New 'project' EIS to be developed

Under SEPA, an evaluation is required — with some exemptions — for government actions proposed by the state and local governments. An EIS can address nonproject actions such as the 2017 "programmatic” EIS that we prepared for the Chehalis Basin Strategy. However, a new "project" EIS will specifically be developed to assess the district's project proposal.

The first step in the environmental review process for the district's proposed flood damage reduction project for the Chehalis River basin will be obtaining public comments about the scope of each EIS to help identify project alternatives, probable significant adverse impacts, potential mitigation measures, and licenses or other approvals that may be required.

EIS scoping period and meetings

We and USACE anticipate the EIS scoping period will be held from September 28 through October 29, 2018. For planning purposes, two EIS scoping meetings are planned for mid-October at the following locations and dates:
  • Montesano: Tuesday, Oct. 16, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Montesano City Hall, 112 N. Main St.
  • Centralia: Wednesday, Oct. 17, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Centralia College, Bowman Rotary Banquet Rooms, 600 Centralia College Boulevard
Starting Sept. 28, the lead review agencies also will have a website with information about the EIS process, how to submit comments, meeting dates, times and locations, and other helpful information.

Results of the environmental review for the district's proposed flood damage reduction project are intended help inform the development of the Chehalis Basin Strategy to reduce flood-related damages in the Chehalis River basin.
Obtenga información sobre la Declaración de Impacto Ambiental de Chehalis (Español)

Administrative and SEPA process questions

What is SEPA? Why are Environmental Impact Statements being done for the proposed Chehalis basin project? Who decides what the Environmental Impact Statements will evaluate? What is a substantive scoping comment? Does it matter how many times a comment is made? Where can I find a response to my scoping comment? Will comments at meetings be more valued? I made a comment on the programmatic EIS for the Chehalis basin. Will it be automatically included?