The Charleston Peninsula Coastal Flood Risk Management Study, which investigates the effects and risks of storm surge flooding on the Charleston peninsula, transitioned from an Environmental Assessment to an Environmental Impact Statement earlier this spring.
The transition extends the $3 million federal feasibility study’s original three-year timeline by several months, enabling the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the City of Charleston and cooperating agencies to conduct further analysis on project impacts, define mitigation measures and expand public engagement through additional public meetings and the release of a revised draft report later this year for public review.
The study is now expected to publish its completed findings in a final report to Congress in Fall 2022.
As part of the transition, USACE and the City hosted a public scoping meeting March 30 to collect public comments and provide a thorough update on the study’s progress since release of an initial draft report in April 2020. The transition also included a formal 30-day public input period, which ran through April 22.
To help facilitate a productive transition to an EIS, the study specifically requested input from the public on other potential coastal storm surge risk alternatives, other potential impacts of the proposed action and any other relevant information or analysis. All comments submitted during the public scoping meeting and input period will be included in the Draft Integrated Feasibility Report/Environmental Impact Statement.
The transition to an EIS does not alter the study goals, expand the authorized focus on coastal storm surge or change the City’s role in the study. The study’s original goals remain the same: to reduce the risks to human health, life and safety and reduce economic damages of coastal storm surge events through a cost-effective, environmentally-sound and feasible solution.
Over the next several months, USACE will use public and agency input, as well as the results of additional modeling and analysis, to continue to refine the proposed federal action and develop more specific strategies to mitigate impacts to historical, visual, community and natural resources.
USACE will hold a 45-day comment period following the Draft Feasibility Report/EIS, which is released September 2021. During this period, USACE will also host a public meeting to present the study’s updated findings and facilitate public review. Comments submitted during this period will be addressed in the final report.
For the latest on the study, visit www.sac.usace.army.mil/charlestonpeninsulastudy.