White River Pacific Right Bank Flood Protection Project
This project is one of two along the lower reach of the White River. The other is the Countyline Levee Setback Project.
The King County Flood Control District and King County have begun an environmental review process under the State Environmental Protection Act (SEPA) for the Pacific Right Bank Flood Protection Project. An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) will be prepared under SEPA and includes the following key steps:
- scoping comment period and public meeting;
- developing alternatives;
- evaluating alternatives, including no-action; and
- selecting a preferred alternative.
A public outreach process began in March 2018 with scoping, the first step in the EIS process. The goal of scoping is to gather input from all interested stakeholders about concerns, past conditions, and ideas related to the project. The scoping process included a public comment period and meeting held on March 27, 2018. A summary of the public scoping process and the comments received during the scoping period are included in an Environmental Scoping Report (August 2018). Information from scoping will be used to develop project alternatives evaluated in the EIS.
Scoping (Public Meeting Materials, March 27, 2018)
- Pacific Right Bank Flood Protection Project Scoping Meeting Presentation (PDF, 302 KB)
- Pacific Right Bank Flood Protect Project Scoping Meeting Posters (PDF, 2.56 MB)
- Frequently Asked Questions (PDF, 308 KB)
- Preguntas frecuentes (PDF, 70 KB)
- Часто задаваемые вопросы (PDF, 182 KB)
New information will be available on this webpage as the SEPA and future public outreach efforts are scheduled.
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The project will be located on the right bank floodplain of the White River in the City of Pacific extending from the BNSF Railway (RM 6.3) south to the King-Pierce County boundary line (RM 5.5), as shown on the map below.
Click image to open the full map of the Right Bank Levee Setback Project site (29 MB, PDF).
Significant flooding along the right bank of the White River in January 2009 directly impacted the neighborhood communities of White River Estates, 3rd and 4th Avenues, and Pacific Park. The goal of this project is to substantially reduce the potential for White River flooding in the City of Pacific and improve environmental conditions along this portion of the White River.
- The project is needed because the extent of White River flooding has worsened due to sediment accumulation in the river channel.
- The project is in the feasibility and environmental review stage. Project site investigations and evaluations are being conducted through an environmental review (SEPA) process and will provide the basis for determining the most beneficial project design.
- An EIS is being prepared for this flood protection proposal to evaluate up to four project alternatives, including a no-action alternative. Each alternative will be evaluated for adverse and beneficial impacts to the natural and built environment.
- The alternatives will consider opportunities to restore off-channel rearing habitat for ESA-listed Chinook salmon, create other wildlife habitat, and address future park and river recreational uses.
- The alignment and features of the future project are dependent upon detailed design analyses for the selected preferred design alternative, which is developed through the SEPA EIS process.
- The alternatives evaluated will address design compatibility with existing stormwater drainage facilities, including the City of Pacific's feasibility analysis and design of the White River Estates proposed stormwater pond retrofit project and Government Canal Pump Station.
- The selected design alternative may include a variety of project components, including property acquisition, levee construction, and floodplain restoration along the right bank (westerly) within the City of Pacific, between the BNSF Railway and Government Canal near the county boundary line.
- Interim flood protection measures (i.e., the HESCO flood barrier) will remain in place for several years until the permanent project is designed and constructed.
- Project work to date has focused on property acquisitions from willing sellers, installation and maintenance of the HESCO barriers, and some feasibility studies for the future levee setback project.
Design alternatives and environmental analyses could include, but are not limited to:
- Analysis of flood and sediment conditions;
- Analysis of setback levee alignment end points;
- Park and river recreational uses;
- Analysis of contaminated waste at the former dumpsite located beneath Pacific City Park;
- Estimating volumes of artificial fill that can be removed to increase flood conveyance and storage capacity conditions in the project area;
- Cost effectiveness analysis of alternative lengths and positioning of the levee setback;
- Evaluation of proposed levee alignment as related to existing stormwater drainage system components (i.e., stormwater pond and outfalls); and
- Coordination with the City of Pacific's feasibility analysis and design of the White River Estates proposed stormwater pond retrofit project.
(Updated October 2018)
|Start feasibility studies||Oct. 2014|
|Conduct environmental review (SEPA) process||2017 - 2020|
|Select preferred alternative for design||2020|
|Project design||2020 - 2021|
|Target for construction||2022 - 2023|
Installed temporary flood-protection measures (HESCO barriers)
|Started property acquisition||Dec. 2009|
|Installed additional HESCO barriers (extension and height)||Nov. 2013|
|Additional acquisitions and HESCO barrier extension||Oct. 2016|
|Public scoping process completed||Apr. 2018|
Project costs and sponsors
The King County River and Floodplain Management Section is overseeing the design and construction of this project, which is being implemented on behalf of the King County Flood Control District (external link).
- Project costs could range between $20 million to $30 million.
- The project is currently in the King County Flood Control District’s six-year Capital Improvement Project plan.
- Some acquisitions to date were grant supported from King County Conservation Futures Tax, and the King County Parks Expansion Levy.
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- Determination of Significance and Scoping Notice, March 2018 (PDF, 119 KB)
- Environmental Scoping Report, August 2018 (PDF, 4.23 MB)
- USGS Channel Capacity and Sediment Transport Report, 2010 (14.7 MB)
- Summary of Sediment Trends – Lower White River, 2010 (10.7 MB)
- Countyline Wood Recruitment Study, 2011 (5.13 MB)
- USGS Geomorphic Analysis of the River Response to Sedimentation Downstream of Mount Rainier, Washington, 2012 (10.3 MB)
- Wetland and Stream Delineation Report: White River Right Bank Levee Setback, 2014 (5.51 MB)
- Pacific Park Phase I Environmental Site Assessment, 2015 (23.69 MB)
- Pacific Park Phase II Environmental Site Assessment, 2016 (19.11 MB)
- Pacific Park Environmental Investigation, 2017 (9.07 MB)
- 3rd Place SE Geotechnical Investigation, 2017 (4.28 MB)
- White River Drive Geotechnical Investigation and Piezometer Installation, 2017 (6.11 MB)
- Lower White River 2009 to 2016 In-Channel Sediment Monitoring, 2017 (6.39 MB)
- USGS White River Sediment Transport Study, 2019 (PDF, 5.09 MB)
External links to related information
- King County Flood Control District (external link)
- Pierce County’s Lead Entity homepage for WRIA 10/12 (external link)
- Pierce County Levee Setback Feasibility Study (external link)
- Salmon Habitat Limiting Factors for the Puyallup River Basin (WRIA 10) (external link, pdf)
- WRIA 10/12 Salmon Habitat Protection and Restoration Strategy (external link, pdf)
- "So You Live Behind a Levee," American Society of Civil Engineers brochure (external link)
- Pierce County (external link)
- Pierce County Flood Control District (external link)
For more information about the White River, please contact Monica Walker, White River Basin Coordinator, King County River and Floodplain Management Section.