Quail Valley levee comments 04-23-09
2011-03-01 10:00 AM - Commissioners' Agenda
Quail Valley levee comments 04-23-09
4/6/2018 5:15:19 PM
4/6/2018 5:15:11 PM
205 West 5th Room 109 - Ellensburg
Meeting document type
18 Claims for Damages Regarding Teanaway River Flooding
Board Discussion and Decision
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Activities for Quail Valley Road levee: <br />On January 7, 2009, an 80-year old levee was breached along the Teanaway River near Quail <br />Valley Road. The flooding caused damage to several residences and properties between the <br />levee and Lambert Road. Quail Valley Road also suffered damage. KCPW contacted the US <br />Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) for flood fighting and levee reconstruction of this levee. <br />Several environmental agencies including USACE, NMFS, USFWS and WFDW were invited by <br />the emergency branch of USACE to be a part of the levee reconstruction. <br />In March 2009, the environmental section of USACE determined the emergency declarations <br />from the Kittitas County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC), the Governor of Washington <br />State and President of the United States no longer applies in spite of the fact these declarations <br />were not rescinded. The Corps environmental branch proceeded with the Clean Water Act <br />(CWA) Section 404 permitting process. Instead of issuing a Nationwide permit, the Corps <br />determined it necessary to request a CWA Section 401 water quality certification from <br />Washington Department of Ecology. The 401 process requires a public comment period. <br />The BOCC issued a new emergency declaration on April 17, 2009 because the water in the <br />river was rising again. The additional rise in water increased the risk of damage to neighboring <br />properties. The flood waters reportedly approached 6 inches from overtopping the bank. <br />04/20/09 - Several biologists and other regulatory staff from NMFS and the Corps arrived at the <br />site 04/20/09 to discuss the construction. They arrived late and huddled prior to meeting with <br />us. During this meeting two property owners expressed their concerns. The biologists were <br />reminded of the land that is being eroded and the water elevation is rising. The biologists <br />expressed concerns of saving trees. A Corps biologist then said he needs to discuss the state of <br />emergency with counsel. I reminded the biologist counsel was released for the day because of <br />power failure. He was also reminded civil servants do not have the authority to overrule the <br />BOCC. A disagreement ensued then the biologist walked away without attempting resolution. <br />During this meeting WDOE agreed to close the 401 permitting process because of the <br />emergency declaration. Several boulders from the original construction was moved into the <br />stream creating barb driving the current to a property across from the levee is located near the <br />end of the downstream portion of the levee. The biologists argued the boulders are not forcing <br />the channel to move. <br />04/21/09 - The next day I inspected the site and noticed additional damage to the end of the <br />levee where erosion continued to affect trees at the downstream portion of the levee. I received <br />comment from a biologist at Yakama Nation expressing the emergency does not exist. Several <br />recommendations were also offered. I telephoned the biologist to discuss. No one answered <br />and a message was left on voice mail. No return was ever received. I walked to the office to <br />meet this biologist’s manager. This was the first time the two met. The manager’s demeanor <br />was hostile. He accused me of wanting to know if the Yakama Nation plans to sue. It appeared <br />the manager never reviewed this letter before. This was clearly an assumption. I clearly stated <br />that was not the case and repeated he wanted to know what the implications for the letter were. <br />The tone of the conversation continued to be hostile toward me. Eventually, I asked at what <br />point in this conversation did I say or do something that warranted the hostile treatment. No
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