OLYMPIA – The Department of Enterprise Services (DES) is seeking comments on a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Capitol Lake - Deschutes Estuary Long-Term Management Project through Aug. 13.
The Draft EIS contains an impartial analysis of three long-term management alternatives – a lake, an estuary, and a hybrid – and discusses how the environment would change under these alternatives, including potential impacts and benefits, and ways to avoid or minimize the impacts.
An EIS supports informed decision making. Neither short-term actions like dredging nor a long-term management alternative can be implemented without an EIS.
“We are at an important point in the EIS process where we are asking stakeholders and the public to weigh in on the draft analysis,” said Bill Frare, DES Assistant Director for Facility Professional Services.
Frare noted that DES is not asking people to vote for alternatives during the comment period.
“We are looking for comments that address specific aspects of the Draft EIS,” he said. “This is really about any potential to increase the depth and strength of the analysis so we have the best body of information possible when the time to make a decision comes.”
The EIS project team will publish all comments on the project website about one month after the Aug. 13 close of the comment period.
The Final EIS is expected to be issued in mid-2022, pending review of comments received on the Draft EIS and additional analyses that may need to be completed in response to public comment.
When complete, the Final EIS will identify a preferred long-term management alternative. The Final EIS will also include information on how substantive comments received on the Draft EIS were addressed as well as a proposed long-term funding and governance model.
The EIS is the second phase in the Capitol Lake – Deschutes Estuary Long-Term Management Project, which seeks to identify an environmentally and economically sustainable management alternative that would improve environmental conditions and enhance community use of the resource.