Ecology Completes Review of Options for Chehalis Basin Strategy

The Washington Department of Ecology has completed its environmental review of a suite of options designed to reduce flood damage and restore critical aquatic habitat in the Chehalis River basin.

“The Chehalis Basin Strategy is a comprehensive and integrated approach for managing the second largest river basin in the state where salmon runs have been declining and major floods are getting larger and more frequent,” Ecology said.

Ecology’s environmental review – officially referred to as a programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) – evaluated four potential alternative combination of actions designed to address the challenge of reducing flood damage and restore aquatic habitat.

Some actions under consideration include whether and where to construct new dams and levees and to improve existing flood protection infrastructure as well as the best approaches for restoring aquatic habitat in the basin.

“The EIS is not a decision or a permit. Instead, it is an assessment of the potential impacts the various combined alternatives would have on people and the environment,” Ecology said in its release.

The review process examined the trade-offs associated with implementing each alternative action to help decision-makers and the public understand the potential impacts of each approach.