LOS ANGELES - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District today terminated a feasibility study and accompanying Environmental Impact Statement for proposed restoration of the Ballona Creek wetlands at the request of Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission, a Joint Power Authority with the County of Los Angeles. The commission has decided to proceed with developing and implementing its restoration project outside the Corps’ Civil Works feasibility study. The Corps published a notice to that effect today in the Federal Register.
Because the commission’s proposed restoration project is still required to meet the Corps' engineering and environmental permitting requirements, the restoration project will proceed with the commission as a permit applicant and not as a local sponsor for a Civil Works cost-shared project. The commission must obtain permission from the Corps to proceed with implementing a restoration project that would modify the Corps-constructed Ballona Creek flood channel, which is now operated by the County of Los Angeles.
Federal law (33 U.S. Code, Section 408) requires the Corps to determine whether the proposed project will diminish the authorized level of flood protection. Other federal laws, including Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the 1899 Rivers and Harbors Act, require the Corps to determine whether any proposed dredging or filling of waters of the United States is environmentally sound and consistent with the public interest.
The Corps announced in a July 25 Federal Register notice the intention to prepare an EIS to address, in coordination with the County of Los Angeles, alternatives and environmental effects of the commission’s proposed wetland restoration project. The new EIS process is currently in the scoping phase, which allows other agencies and the public to provide comments and recommendations concerning environmental issues that should be addressed, as well as to suggest alternatives that should be considered. The original scoping comment period was set to end Sept. 10, but has been extended to Oct. 23.
A copy of the July 25 Federal Register notice, as well as mailing addresses and email addresses for providing scoping comments can be found on link on the upper right hand.
Release no. 12-015