13-015 Corps invites public comments on Emmett levee system environmental assessment

Published March 7, 2013

EMMETT, Idaho – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Walla Walla District invites public comments on an Emmett levee system repair project environmental assessment (EA). Comments are due by March 20.

The Corps proposes to repair a section of the Emmett levee system on the Payette River near Emmett, Idaho. The Emmett levee system is located in rural Gem County, Idaho, and was damaged by high flows in April 2012. The levee provides 50-year level flood protection to 106 acres of land with 209 residential, commercial and light industrial structures south of the Payette River. The total value of structures protected by the levee is $37 million. Without repair, these levees would continue to erode and may eventually fail, leading to the loss of private property and public infrastructure. On April 30, 2012, the flood control district requested assistance from Corps to repair the damaged levee. As a federally constructed levee system, locally maintained to acceptable standards under the National Levee Safety Program, the Emmett levee system is eligible for emergency assistance from the Corps.

The Corps invites public comments on an environmental assessment that evaluates alternatives and documents the environmental effects of the proposed repair project. The EA will also determine if an environmental impact statement (EIS) is necessary. The EA and draft Finding of No Significant Impact are available for viewing or downloading at http://www.nww.usace.army.mil/Missions/Projects/EmmettLeveeRepair.aspx.

Public comments should be postmarked or e-mailed no later than Wednesday, March 20, to (e-mail) charles.b.chamberlain@usace.army.mil; or (mailing address) U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, CENWW-PD-EC, ATTN: Charles Chamberlain EA, 201 North 3rd Ave., Walla Walla, WA 99362.

The Corps of Engineers has authority under Public Law 84-99 to supplement local efforts in the repair of both federal (Corps-constructed, locally operated and maintained) and non-federal (constructed by non-federal interests or by the Work Projects Administration) flood risk management projects damaged by flooding events. Several criteria must be met to satisfy eligibility for flood rehabilitation assistance, including participation in the National Levee Safety Program and complying with maintenance standards.


NOTE TO MEDIA: All media queries should go to Walla Walla District Public Affairs at 509-527-7020

or cenww-pa@usace.army.mil, and not to Mr. Chamberlain.

Public Affairs Office

Release no. 13-015