The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) announces the availability of a draft environmental impact report (EIR) prepared in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) for the proposed Lower Deer Creek Flood and Ecosystem Improvement Project, Phase 1 (proposed project). The draft EIR describes the proposed project and evaluates the potential environmental impacts associated with implementing the proposed project. The draft EIR analyzes six project alternatives and the “no project” alternative.
The proposed project would be located along the lower 8 miles of Deer Creek in Tehama County, California, from 2 miles upstream of Red Bridge to the confluence with the Sacramento River, and along the lower 2.6 miles of China Slough from State Route 99 to the confluence with Deer Creek.
The proposed project includes levee setbacks, bank stabilization, floodway easements, bridge improvements, and levee improvements. Upstream of Red Bridge, setback and raised levees are proposed to improve flood protection. Realignment and expansion of Red Bridge is proposed to pass the 50-year flood flow and increase sediment transport through this reach. Downstream from Red Bridge to the Stanford-Vina Ranch Irrigation Company (SVRIC) Dam, bridge and levee improvements, coupled with levee setbacks, floodplain lowering, and floodway easements, are proposed to convey higher flows and large wood through the bridge and to allow some natural channel migration and increased floodplain inundation and function. South of the SVRIC Dam, the dam access road would be improved and canal cutoff structures installed to improve flood protection. Downstream of the dam to State Route 99, removal of a private levee and berm is proposed to widen the floodway to allow greater flow conveyance, channel migration, and natural development of instream habitat. Improvements to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ levees and installation of bank protection are also proposed just upstream of State Route 99 to maintain flood protection. Further downstream, levee improvements and a new levee are proposed to protect valuable existing pasture and infrastructure, and an easement is proposed to allow channel migration at the downstream end of the creek. In China Slough, grading, vegetation management, and culvert improvement are proposed to enhance conveyance through the slough.
ANTICIPATED ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS
During the environmental analysis conducted for the proposed project, the following resources were eliminated from detailed analysis because no significant impacts from project implementation are anticipated: Energy, Forestry Resources, Mineral Resources, Population and Housing, Public Services, and Recreation.
The proposed project would result in less-than-significant impacts, or less-than-significant impacts after implementation of mitigation measures, to the following resources: Aesthetics; Biological Resources; Cultural and Tribal Cultural Resources; Geology, Soils, and Paleontological Resources; Hazards and Hazardous Materials; Hydrology, Hydraulics, and Flood Risk Management; Transportation; Utilities and Service Systems; Water Quality; and Wildfires.
Implementation of the proposed project would result in potentially significant impacts that may remain significant and unavoidable after implementation of mitigation measures to the following resources: Agricultural Resources and Land Use, Air Quality, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, and Noise.
PUBLIC REVIEW PROCESS
The purpose of this notice, consistent with Sections 15086 and 15087 of the State CEQA Guidelines, is to consult with and request comments from responsible agencies, organizations, and interested parties regarding the environmental analyses presented in the draft EIR. In accordance with Section 15205(d) of the State CEQA Guidelines, the lead agency (DWR) has scheduled a 45-day public review period for the draft EIR, beginning on November 30, 2021 and ending on January 14, 2022 at 5:00 p.m.
The draft EIR is available online at https://ceqanet.opr.ca.gov/ by searching for State Clearinghouse Number 2020120149. The draft EIR may also be viewed here with the appendices listed at the bottom of the page. If you encounter problems accessing the document from DWR’s website, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The draft EIR will also be made available upon request at DWR’s Northern Region Office, located in Red Bluff, California. Please call 530-529-7300 to make arrangements for review.
Written comments on this draft EIR should be emailed to DWR Environmental Services Section Manager Amy Lyons with the subject line “Lower Deer Creek Flood and Ecosystem Improvement Project Public Comment” or mailed to the following address:
California Department of Water Resources
Attn: Amy Lyons
2440 Main Street
Red Bluff, CA 96080
Comment letters must be postmarked, and comment emails must be received, no later than 5:00 p.m. on January 14, 2022. All comments submitted must include the commenter’s name, mailing address, and phone number. All comments received by DWR are public records, subject to disclosure under the Public Records Act.
Draft EIR Appendices: