Project description and intent clarified
The District has developed a detailed description of its proposed flood damage reduction project, including supporting documents. In response to questions we and the USACE posed, the District also provided clarifications regarding the project.
For example, the District made clear the proposed flood retention facility and associated temporary reservoir is intended to reduce damages from periodic floods from Pe Ell to Centralia triggered by rainfall in the Willapa Hills. The project is not intended to address flooding in all parts of the Chehalis River basin.
Different environmental elements to be evaluated
The state EIS will study the likely significant environmental impacts from the proposed project as well as project alternatives. Our SEPA analysis will include climate change as we evaluate how the project could affect the following:
- Air quality
- Cultural resources, both historic and archaeological
- Cumulative impacts
- Environmental health and safety
- Environmental justice
- Geology and geomorphology (landslides and earthquakes)
- Habitat and vegetation
- Land use
- Public services and utilities
- Tribal resources
- Wildlife (including impacts to southern resident killer whales)
Geographic study area could vary
The geographic area we intend to study could vary, depending where probable significant impacts are likely to occur. In general, the study area will be:
The study will look at the entire life-cycle of salmon and analyze impacts to chinook salmon that could affect southern Puget Sound resident orcas.
- The site of the proposed flood retention facility site near Pe Ell.
- Upriver and downriver where probable impacts could occur.
- The area near the Chehalis-Centralia Airport levee
Project alternatives to be analyzed
Besides the proposed project, the EIS also will analyze what is known as a "no action" alternative. This examines what would happen if the flood retention facility is not built or no improvements made to the airport levee. The study will also analyze an alternative based on localized and nonstructural actions that could help retain flood waters and reduce flood-related damage.
State EIS scoping completed, summary available
Scoping is the first step in the state and federal environmental review process. We and USACE held a joint SEPA-NEPA EIS scoping period
from Sept. 28 through Oct. 29, 2018 — including conducting two public scoping meetings. During scoping, the public as well as representatives from local and tribal governments, state and federal agencies, the business community, and other organizations provided input regarding the scope of the state EIS.
The comments we heard help identify project alternatives, likely significant adverse impacts, and potential measures to offset negative environmental effects. We will consider the substantive scoping comments we received as we develop the state draft EIS.
The SEPA EIS Scoping Summary Report
provides a summary of scoping comments and outreach. This report will be included in the SEPA draft EIS as well. Visit the EIS Scoping page
to view scoping materials and other information.