Chehalis River Basin Flood Control Zone District

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Environmental Review

In-depth environmental studies help to inform the public and decision-makers.

State and Federal Environmental Review Processes

The Washington Department of Ecology and the United States Army Corps of Engineers are working on two separate Environmental Impact Statements (EISs). An EIS is a document that describes the project's potential impacts to aspects of the environment. Some topics considered in the EIS are: aquatic and terrestrial resources, water quality, air quality, noise, cultural resources, environmental justice, transportation, land use, and recreation geology. Both of these documents also address climate change. These agencies have published their draft EISs and held a public comment period in spring 2020. Stay tuned for opportunities to see the final EISs, which are expected in 2022.

The Chehalis Basin Board is expected to use the findings from these EISs to inform their recommendations for the long-term Chehalis Basin Strategy. The District will avoid, minimize, and mitigate environmental impacts wherever possible. This includes strategies to ensure no net loss of habitat function in the Basin. These measures will be finalized during the final project design and permitting processes.

See all environmental records in our Resource Library.

Environmental Submittals Document library

Previous Submittals

Supporting documents for project impact avoidance minimization and mitigation:

How would the project affect fish and other aquatic species?

Studies show that the District’s flood protection project can be built with no net loss of habitat function for fish and other aquatic species. “No net loss” means maintaining the same level of habitat function that exists in the basin today.

The District has pledged to make no net loss a condition of construction. The District will meet this goal by offsetting any potential impacts to aquatic species habitat through mitigation projects. These mitigation projects will achieve the same level of habitat function that exists today.

Federal and state agencies will review the District’s mitigation plan. If approved, this means that all other habitat restoration work under the larger Chehalis Basin Strategy will have a net positive benefit for fish and other aquatic species in the basin.

Beyond the District’s proposed “no net loss” strategies, what other habitat restoration projects are happening in the basin?

The state has invested millions of dollars in local projects throughout the basin to reduce flood damage and restore habitat for salmon and other aquatic species.

These projects include:

  • Protecting infrastructure like roads, wastewater treatment plants, and drinking water sources.
  • Establishing evacuation routes and early flood warning systems.
  • Installing raised farm pads to safeguard livestock and equipment
  • Improving fish passage barriers to open more than 100 miles of habitat for fish.
  • Collaborating with landowners to relocate vulnerable structures and restore natural floodplain functions.

Learn more and see an interactive map of local projects.