King County is collecting input from Monday, Nov. 7 through Friday, Dec. 9, on the scope of an environmental impact statement for the next King County Flood Management Plan. Comments from the public, tribal governments, and city, state, and federal agencies will shape how the County approaches flood planning.
StoryFor the first time in nearly a decade, King County is proposing to significantly update its Flood Management Plan. The updated flood plan will serve as the County’s guide for managing flood risks along rivers, creeks, and shorelines in unincorporated King County. The flood plan will set floodplain management policy for unincorporated King County and could inform flood hazard management actions by cities, the King County Flood Control District, and other floodplain partners.
The next flood plan will ensure that the County is prepared for more frequent and severe floods that are expected to occur due to climate change, and that the County will equitably shape its flood management programs, policies, and infrastructure for years to come.
While the current flood plan focuses on flooding and erosion hazards on major rivers and streams such as the Snoqualmie and Cedar rivers, and Issaquah Creek, the updated plan will assess flood risks more broadly, including on smaller streams and Puget Sound coastline.
Because of the significance of the plan, King County will prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) – a document describing proposed actions and how they would affect the environment and people. Through the EIS, King County will identify and analyze potential impacts of the plan on threatened or endangered species, water quality, historical and cultural resources, and transportation.
King County proposes to explore the impacts of two scenarios, called “alternatives,” in the EIS, and is eager to know how the alternatives align with what is important to community members in order to build a more responsive plan.
“Updating the flood plan is a forward-thinking effort to reduce flood hazards while improving salmon habitat and preparing for a changing climate,” said Josh Baldi, director of the King County Water and Land Resources Division. “Our goal is that the flood plan has positive impacts on the communities we serve and the environment we protect. Getting input through the EIS will help ensure that we focus on the outcomes that people care about the most.”
As a standard part of the EIS process, a “no action alternative” is considered. The analysis will consider the impacts of not adopting the new flood plan and continuing to use the 2006 and 2013 flood plans to guide floodplain management policy and activities.
King County is holding a 30-day comment period to collect input on the scope of the EIS. The comment period begins Monday, Nov. 7 and ends Friday, Dec. 9. The draft EIS scope may be revised based on input received during the comment period.
To learn more about the flood plan’s EIS scope, please visit kingcounty.gov/floodplan. Comments may be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to:
King County Water and Land Resources Division
Attn: Jason Wilkinson
201 S. Jackson St., Suite 5700
Seattle, WA 98104-3855
King County Flood Management Plan
Environmental Impact Statement
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Saffa Bardaro, Water and Land Resources Division, 206-477-4610