VENTURA RIVER (VR-1) LEVEE REHABILITATION PROJECT

Environmental Review | Scoping  | CEQA Compliance

The Ventura County Public Works Agency – Watershed Protection (VCPWA – WP) is soliciting input from reviewing agencies and the public regarding the scope and content of the EIR. In accordance with CEQA, Watershed Protection requests that agencies review the Project Description provided in this NOP and provide comments on environmental issues related to the statutory responsibilities of the agency. The EIR will be used by Watershed Protection when considering approval of the proposed project and by other Responsible and Trustee Agencies to support their discretionary actions related to the proposed project. Watershed Protection is also seeking the views of residents, property owners, and the public regarding issues that should be addressed in the EIR. 

The proposed project would involve structural improvements to the existing VR-1 levee, which would achieve compliance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) levee certification requirements and United States Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) levee permit requirements, address structural deficiencies, and extend the levee’s capital service life. In 2008, FEMA determined that the VR-1 levee did not fully comply with all the federal levee certification regulatory requirements. Additionally, the Corps rated the levee as “minimally acceptable,” meaning that the levee has multiple deficiencies. These deficiencies put the levee at risk of failing from a one percent annual chance (also known as the 100-year) flood event. The proposed project would improve flood protection to residents and businesses in the City of San Buenaventura (commonly known as Ventura) located within the one percent annual chance flood zone (a.k.a. FEMA flood zone) by achieving a one percent annual chance flood capacity with 3 feet of freeboard (i.e., the height of the levee above the flood water).

Pursuant to State CEQA Guidelines Section 15081, Watershed Protection has determined that the proposed Project may have a significant effect on the environment. Watershed Protection has not prepared an Initial Study and will instead begin work directly on the EIR, as allowed under State CEQA Guidelines Sections 15063(a).

The process of determining the focus and content of the EIR is referred to as “scoping” under State CEQA Guidelines Section 15083. Scoping helps to identify the range of actions, alternatives, environmental effects, and mitigation measures to be analyzed in depth, and eliminates from detailed study those issues that are not pertinent to the final decision on a proposed project. Scoping is also an effective way to bring together and address the concerns of the public, affected agencies, and other interested parties. Significant issues may be identified through public and agency comments.

Scoping, however, is not conducted to resolve differences concerning the merits of a project or to anticipate the ultimate decision on the proposal. Rather, the purpose of scoping is to help ensure that a comprehensive and focused EIR will be prepared that provides a firm basis for the decision-making process. Members of the public; affected federal, State, and local agencies; interest groups stakeholders; and other interested parties may participate in the scoping process for the proposed project by providing written comments or recommendations concerning the issues to be analyzed in the EIR

 

All interested parties are invited to submit comments on the scope and content of this EIR throughout the scoping period which starts September 9, 2020 and ends October 8, 2020.

 

To avoid physical gatherings in compliance with restrictions caused by COVID-19, Watershed Protection will conduct an online virtual public scoping comment period instead of the traditional Scoping Meeting. Scoping materials are provided on the VR-1 Levee Rehabilitation Project website (https://www.vcpublicworks.org/wp/venturariverlevee/) to provide an overview of the proposed project and an opportunity for the public to ask questions and submit comments.

Comments and questions may also be emailed to vr1.info@ventura.org. Scoping comments will be addressed in the EIR analyses.

Watershed Protection is also seeking the views of residents, property owners, and the public regarding issues that should be addressed in the EIR. All interested parties are invited to submit comments on the scope and content of the EIR. Responsible and Trustee Agencies may need to use the EIR when considering permits or other discretionary approvals your agency may issue for the VR-1 Project.

Comments can be submitted using the button below or by emailing vr1.info@ventura.org through your email provider. All scoping comments must be received by October 8, 2020.

For general questions, please contact the Project Environmental Planner, Tyler Barns.

Ventura County Public Works Agency – Watershed Protection

Attn: Tyler Barns
800 S. Victoria Ave., #1600
Ventura, CA 93009
(805) 654-2064

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