USA: Corps to Further Develop LA River Ecosystem Restoration Study

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers received guidance from Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy May 27 on moving forward with further development of the Los Angeles River Ecosystem Restoration Study and future documentation.

Based on information presented by USACE, as well as consideration of the correlation of the project with key administration initiatives (including the Climate Action Plan, America’s Great Outdoors initiative, and the Urban Waters Federal Partnership), Darcy concluded, “There is substantial federal interest in the LPP (Locally Preferred Plan)” known as Alternative 20 and requested by the Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti.

Darcy also directed USACE to consider recommending the federal government cost share the project equally with the local cost share sponsor, the City of Los Angeles.

The direction further clarified that all other provisions of policy must be met to include incorporating relevant information “into the final decision documents and subject to the non-federal sponsor’s continued agreement to forgo reimbursement or credit for real estate, which may exceed 35 percent of the LPP cost. All other requirements of local cooperation remain the same, including the non-federal sponsor’s requirement to operate, maintain, repair, replace, and rehabilitate (OMRR&R) the project after construction in accordance with Section 103(j) of the Water Resources Development Act of 1986.

“The Corps of Engineers and the Los Angeles District look forward to continuing to collaborate with Mayor Garcetti, the City of Los Angeles, and all local stakeholders and partners to advance this study to a Civil Works Review Board, which we hope to complete by the end of this year,” said Col. Kim Colloton, USACE Los Angeles District commander.

Once USACE completes its policy compliance review at the Civil Works Review Board, the study will be submitted for final state and agency review. Usually within three months, the USACE Chief of Engineers will review the study, and forward his recommendation in a Chief’s Report to the administration and Congress. At this point, the study will be reviewed by policy makers for decisions related to cost share provisions, authorization to move forward into design and construction, and eventual appropriation. Any provisions different from normal statutory provisions and policy standards would need to be specifically indicated in authorizing legislation.

USACE; May 30, 2014; Image: USACE

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