First scoping meeting for environmental review of estuary, managed lake & hybrid alternatives for Capitol Lake/Lower Deschutes Watershed set for October 10

The first of two meetings where the Department of Enterprise Services will ask people what should be studied in an environmental review for estuary, managed lake and hybrid options for the waterbody on the Capitol Campus will be held Oct. 10.

The purpose of scoping is to determine the range, or “scope” of issues to study, and it is the first step in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process.

In-person public scoping meetings: The October meetings feature an open house from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. and a verbal comment session from 6 to 8 p.m. People may also submit written comments at the meetings:

*  Oct. 10 at Hotel RL, 2300 Evergreen Park Drive S.W., Olympia

* Oct. 22 Washington Center for the Performing Arts, 512 Washington Street S.E., Olympia

The comment period is being held through Nov. 13. Comments are being taken online, via email and through regular mail in addition to comments taken during the two in-person public scoping meetings in October.

About scoping: Scoping helps determine what should be studied in the EIS, including what sorts of questions should be answered via technical analyses, what environmental impacts and potential mitigation measures should be evaluated in the study and which options for long-term management should be evaluated.

When complete, the EIS for the 260-acre waterbody will identify a preferred alternative for long-term management. At a minimum, the EIS will evaluate alternatives for:

* A Managed Lake that would maintain the existing reflecting pool.

* A Restored Estuary that would remove the existing Fifth Avenue Dam to restore the historical tidal estuary.

* A Hybrid that would include elements of both—a smaller reflecting pool would be developed near Heritage Park and a barrier would be constructed to support a restored tidal estuary west of the barrier.

* A No Action alternative (required by the State Environmental Policy Act)

Several options or variations of the primary alternatives have been proposed, and additional concepts may emerge during the EIS scoping process. A screening process will be used to identify the range of alternatives that move forward for detailed technical review in the EIS. Concepts will be evaluated for their ability to meet project objectives and their feasibility.

The legislative proviso funding the EIS also directed that an economic analysis be part of the EIS.

During scoping, we’d especially like your thoughts on what should be studied regarding:

* Alternatives

* Potential environmental impacts

* Potential mitigation measures to avoid or minimize impacts

* Permits or other approvals that may be required

Learn more and participate

Learn more:

Online open house:

Comment via e-mail:

Comment in writing: Bill Frare, Department of Enterprise Services, PO Box 41476, Olympia, WA 98504

            – Department of Enterprise Services