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Posted on: February 29, 2012

Pierce County releases plan to manage flooding and channel migration hazards

Draft Environmental Impact Statement for plan also available

Pierce County on Feb. 29 released its proposed plan to manage flooding and channel migration hazards on major rivers, large tributaries and associated floodplains over the next 20 years.

The draft Rivers Flood Hazard Management Plan is a comprehensive approach to reducing damages from major river flooding and channel migration, protecting public safety, and improving fish habitat. The plan's associated draft Environmental Impact Statement, also released on Feb. 29, evaluates the potential environmental impacts of the plan, as well as two alternative approaches.

"Pierce County landowners, businesses and residents can be severely impacted by flooding," said Harold Smelt, Pierce County Public Works and Utilities Surface Water Management manager. "This plan addresses vital areas, such as reducing risks to life and property, and identifies flood hazard management activities that are both cost-effective and environmentally sensitive."

Public meeting in March
Residents are invited to attend an upcoming public meeting about the draft Flood Plan and draft Environmental Impact Statement. Project staff will provide an overview and answer questions.

What: Public meeting on draft Flood Plan and draft Environmental Impact StatementTime: 6-8 p.m.
Date: Tuesday, March 13, 2012Location: Sumner High School's Commons Room, 1707 Main St. in Sumner

45-day comment period on draft Environmental Impact Statement
The 45-day comment period for the draft Environmental Impact Statement runs from Feb. 29, 2012 to April 13, 2012. Verbal and written comments will be accepted at the March 13, 2012 public meeting. Residents may also submit written comments by US Mail or email to:

Adonais Clark, Responsible OfficialPierce County Planning and Land Services Department
2401 S. 35th St., Ste. 175 Tacoma, WA 98409
aclark@co.pierce.wa.us

Next stepsThe draft Flood Plan and draft Environmental Impact Statement will be presented to the Pierce County Planning Commission on April 24, 2012. The commission will make recommendations to the Pierce County Council on the draft Flood Plan.

The draft Flood Plan and final Environmental Impact Statement will be brought before the Pierce County Council for consideration and adoption in 2012.

BackgroundIn 1992, Pierce County adopted the Puyallup River Comprehensive Flood Control Management Plan for the Puyallup, Carbon and White rivers. The draft Flood Plan is proposed to replace the 1992 plan and expand its scope to include the Nisqually, Greenwater, and Mashel rivers and South Prairie Creek.

In December 2009, a committee was formed to advise Pierce County on technical and policy issues related to the draft Flood Plan. The committee included 26 representatives from federal, state, local and tribal government, business, agricultural, and environmental organizations, flood prone communities, and other interested parties. In addition, 11 public meetings were held between March 2010 and June 2011.

Scientific studies were completed to provide a better understanding of Pierce County river systems. In addition, an in-depth analysis of the potential economic impacts of major flooding in Pierce County was completed.

Documents availableThe draft documents are available in a variety of formats. Please visit www.piercecountywa.org/floodplan for a list of available formats and to view related information.

MEDIA CONTACTS:Teresa Lewis, Public Works and Utilities education and outreach coordinator
253-798-2480

Anne Radford, Public Works and Utilities public information officer
253-798-2464

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