LOS ANGELES — The public comment period for the Los Angeles River Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study will come to an end Nov. 18. Until close of business on that day, individuals may submit comments via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, they may submit written comments postmarked by that day to: Josephine R. Axt, Ph.D., Chief, Planning Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Los Angeles District, P.O. Box 532711, ATTN: Ms. Erin Jones, CESPL-PD-RN, Los Angeles, CA 90053-2325.
The study’s report can be found online at: http://www.spl.usace.army.mil, and a paper copy can be found at local libraries.
The draft report details four action Alternatives and identifies the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ tentatively selected plan, or TSP. However, the TSP is not a final agency decision and, depending if there is new information obtained from public and partner-agency comments, the plan recommended to Congress may be different from the TSP.
“The project team will review and address the comments during the winter and will finalize the study report in the spring,” said Los Angeles District Commander Col. Kim Colloton. “The final report will go to the Corps’ Civil Works Review Board in Washington for consideration for recommendation to Congress. If given an endorsement, the final report will be released to the public for additional state and agency review.”
Following the additional review, a Chief of Engineers report would be prepared and reviewed by the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) for recommendation to Congress for authorization. The report will wait for Congress’ authorization, but, in the meantime, the Corps can start some design of the project. However, the Corps cannot begin construction until Congress gives authorization.
“If authorized by Congress, the Corps and City of Los Angeles would enter into a Project Partnership Agreement and construct the project in phases,” Colloton said. “Federal funding depends on annual appropriations decisions.”
The study focuses on an 11-mile stretch of the river in the nation’s second largest urban region and has the ability to positively impact millions of people who live in close proximity to its boundaries. Ultimately, the study recommends improvements that would restore ecological value and habitat to the Los Angeles River corridor.
Colloton said, “If Congress decides to approve and then fund a restoration project for the Los Angeles River, the Corps hopes to see restored habitat connections and ecological functions in the 11-mile stretch, while preserving the flood protection that is provided by the existing channel system.”