PUBLIC NOTICE OF PROPOSED ACTIVITY AND PREPARATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT
Public Notice and Comment Period: February 9, 2015 to March 11, 2015
Proposed Implementation Date: Fall 2015
Proposed Federal Action: This public notice is issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to inform the general public that the Los Angeles District of the Corps is preparing a Supplemental Environmental Assessment in support of the proponent, Ventura County’s request for a Section 408 Permit to modify the existing Federal project, Sespe Creek.
Pursuant to 33 USC Section 408, Section 14 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899, requests by private, public, tribal, or other Federal entities to make alterations or temporarily or permanently occupy or use any U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Federally authorized civil works project must not be injurious to the public interest or affect the projects ability to meet its authorized purpose. Section 408 authorizes the Secretary of the Army (or his designee) to grant permission for the alteration or occupation of the project.
Proposed Changes to the Approved Project
Deficiencies found during inspection of the Sespe Creek Levee System necessitated improvements to the project by the Ventura County Flood Control District. The Corps determined a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the Approved Project and the FONSI was signed on July 2, 2013. Subsequent to the final EA, design changes were made necessitating a Supplemental EA. Changes include:
· Additional retaining wall 122-feet in length located south of the Faith Community Church along Residence #4 near Condor Court (between Station 28+42 and 27+20) with a maximum wall height of 2.5 feet.
· Additional retaining wall located near Robin Court (same as approved project) and near Mallard Street (between Station 34+36 and 39+91) with wall heights varying between 1 and 5.5 feet. This 558-foot section of retaining wall would be 237 feet longer than the 321-foot retaining wall considered in the approved project. The retaining walls would be constructed with cast-in-place concrete rather than concrete masonry unit (CMU); installation of a 36-inch-tall cabled fence on top of the retaining walls would remain the same.
· An increase in the amount and locations of the proposed retaining wall (floodwall) along the SC-2 portion of the Sespe Creek Levee system, an increase in the area for adding fill slope along the existing levee, elimination of one of the two proposed vehicle access ramps, elimination of the soil cement protective pad, gravel toe drains, and weighted filters, and a realignment of the proposed pedestrian access path from Mallard Street to the Sespe Creek Bike Trail.
· The revised project would increase the amount of fill to raise the height of the levee by 1 to 5.5 feet along approximately 1,736 feet of existing levee, as follows: heights of 0 to 1.8 feet from north of Mallard Street to the southern property line of Residence #3, 1.8 to 3.2 feet along Residence #2, 3.2 to 4.5 feet along Residence #1, 2.9 to 5.3 feet along Faith Community Church, 2.9 to 1.8 feet along Residence #4, 1.8 to 1.3 feet along Residence #5, and 1.3 to 0 feet along Residence #6, ending approximately 100 feet south of Residence #6. Approximately 20,900 cubic yards of compacted earthen fill would be required, which is 2,719 cubic yards more than the 18,181 cubic yards estimated to be required to construct the approved project.
· Elimination of construction of the second access ramp near the VCWPD stockpile property by State Route 126. The new pedestrian access path from Mallard Street over the levee would also be realigned along a 240-foot section to loop down to the existing Sespe Creek Bike Trail. Additionally, the soil cement protective pad, gravel toe drains, and weighted filters were determined to be structurally unnecessary and have been eliminated from the revised project.
· Project construction would still occur over a five- to six-month period, as projected for the approved project; however, the construction start date is revised to September 2015 (rather than April 2014). Work hours would remain unchanged, occurring between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday with no construction expected on weekends or holidays.
The Corps invites the general public to submit comments on potential environmental impacts that could result from implementation of the proposed action and alternatives. The public comment period on preparation of the Supplemental EA for the proposed project will extend from February 9, 2015 to March 11, 2015. All comments must be received by 5 p.m. on March 11, 2015. Please direct your comments to Deborah Lamb, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, at Deborah.L.Lamb@usace.army.mil or by mail at:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Los Angeles District
Environmental Resources Branch
915 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90017-3401
If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact Deborah Lamb, Landscape Architect at