Department of Ecology News Release - UPDATE October 24, 2016

Ecology is granting a 14-day extension to the public comment period for the draft Chehalis Basin Strategy environmental review. The new closing date for the public comment period will be November 14, 2016. This decision was made after Ecology received and considered five requests for an extension.

Original news release September 29, 2016.

Seeking to restore habitat and reduce flood damage in Chehalis River Basin
Review, comment on Chehalis Basin Strategy draft environmental report

OLYMPIA – With a new environmental report out for public review, now is the time to get involved and engage on potential ways to restore aquatic habitat and reduce flooding throughout the Chehalis River Basin in southwest Washington.

As part of a community effort to restore the basin and put it on a path to recovery, the Washington Department of Ecology has completed a draft environmental report, officially called a programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

The environmental review evaluated four basin-wide options that were developed and submitted to Ecology by the community to address flood damage and aquatic species habitat.

The Chehalis River Basin is at a turning point. In recent years, the basin has experienced extreme and frequent flooding, and it may experience larger floods more often in the future. Habitat for aquatic species is significantly degraded and, if action is not taken, is expected to decline further.

"I'm impressed by how the community came together to find potential solutions for the Chehalis River," said Gordon White, floodplain program manager for Ecology. "We’ve worked hard to evaluate the impacts and give these invested stakeholders a fair assessment of how different solutions will affect their community’s environmental planning."

Now that Ecology has completed its assessment and analysis of the four basin-wide option, it’s making the draft environmental report available for public review.

Learn more, attend hearings and submit comments

Visit chehalisbasinstrategy.com to read the draft study and share feedback. Comments will be accepted through Nov. 14, 2016. Please submit your comments:

Online

chehalisbasinstrategy.com/comment-form

By mail

Chehalis Basin Strategy EIS
c/o Anchor QEA
720 Olive Way, Suite 1900
Seattle, WA 98101

In person at public hearings

Tuesday, Oct. 18 at 6 p.m.*
Veterans Memorial Museum
100 S.W. Veterans Way
Chehalis, WA 98532

Thursday, Oct. 27 at 6 p.m.*
Montesano City Hall
112 N. Main Street
Montesano, WA 98563

*Open houses begin at 6:00 p.m. followed by a presentation at 6:30 p.m. and public hearing at 7:00 p.m.

The State Environmental Policy Act provides a formal process to identify and assess the possible environmental effects of a proposal before deciding how to proceed. Your feedback helps Ecology understand how a proposed action would affect people and the environment.

All comments received during the public comment period will be addressed in the final EIS, planned for issuance in 2017.

Contact:

Jessica Payne, communications, 360-407-6548 , @ecologyWA