All funding for the project, including acquisition has been secured. The caveat is that the FEMA funds are tied to what are called “Project Worksheets” (PWs) and this project will have two of those. The first PW covering design has been approved but the second PW for construction will of course be subject to maintaining a favorable benefit/cost ratio and a successful outcome of the ongoing Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Speaking of which, the scoping period for the EIS has been completed. The public and agency scoping comments will be available shortly on a webpage that FEMA has established for this project: http://southernfloweis.org/ Five initial alternatives have now been narrowed to four. Design is moving ahead rapidly by Northwest Hydraulic Consultants (NHC) and its subcontractors. FEMA is currently working with NHC on a peer review of the hydraulic modeling. Most of the survey work has been completed by the County Surveyor. The geotechnical investigations are almost complete at the project site. Our partners from NOAA and USFWS are working closely with FEMA on endangered species issues for the EIS. The project appears to be on track for completing the EIS Record of Decision by the fall of 2015.
The County and its attorney are working with OWEB on the due diligence requirements for the property acquisitions. In conducting the Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs), low levels of contamination from petroleum by products were found at the former site of two veneer mills that operated between 1920 and 1960 on one of the acquisition parcels. The County has joined DEQ’s voluntary Cleanup Program, is conducting soil and water sampling at the site and will be negotiating a Prospective Purchaser Agreement with DEQ.