News Flash

Public Works - Swift Creek Project

Posted on: August 6, 2021

Swift Creek Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement Available

In accordance with the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA), WAC 197‐11‐455 and 197‐11‐510, a Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Swift Creek Sediment Management Action Plan Phase 3 Implementation: Sediment Repository has been issued and is available for your review and comment. The Draft Supplemental EIS describes existing conditions and analyzes the probable significant adverse impacts of the proposal and reasonable alternatives. Mitigating measures to avoid or minimize impacts and significant unavoidable adverse impacts of the proposed action also examined.

Copies are available for review: 

PROJECT INFORMATION: Whatcom County is proposing implementation of the third phase of the Swift Creek Sediment Management Action Plan (SCSMAP), which includes construction of a sediment repository on approximately 65 acres of County‐owned property to store a maximum of 2.5 million cubic yards of Swift Creek sediment. The repository would be considered a construction‐level project through its life, which is estimated to be approximately 20 years. After each construction season, the repository would be covered to prevent wind and water erosion of the sediment. Upon reaching capacity, the repository would be capped with topsoil and revegetated. A temporary soil stockpile encompassing approximately 10 acres would be developed adjacent to the repository on County‐owned property to store clean soils through the construction life of the repository. After completion of repository construction, the stockpile area would be regraded, revegetated, and returned to commercial forest use. Temporary facilities ancillary to repository construction, including crew trailers, decontamination facilities, and equipment and material storage would occur on a 20‐acre County‐owned parcel adjacent to Goodwin Road. Repository construction would require filling 4.3 acres of wetlands 0.4 acres of wetland buffer; wetland impacts would be mitigated according to agency standards on a County‐owned parcel south of Goodwin Road within the Swift Creek watershed. 

One alternative to the proposed action, the No Action Alternative, is considered which explores the potential that the repository project identified for SCSMAP Phase 3 implementation would not be pursued. A series of sediment management measures could be pursued in the absence of the proposal and are analyzed as part of the No Action Alternative to the extent that information is available.

Project documents incorporated by reference include the Swift Creek Sediment Management Action Plan, the Swift Creek Sediment Management Action Plan (SCSMAP) and SCSMAP Phase One Projects EIS, and the Sediment Repository Conceptual Site Screening.

PROJECT AREA: Swift Creek originates on the ridge of Sumas Mountain in northern Whatcom County, Washington. Sediment repository construction as SCSMAP Phase 3 would occur along the Swift Creek corridor approximately three miles east of the town of Everson on the east side of Goodwin Road and just south of South Pass Road (Section 34 of Township 40 North, Range 04 East).

FILE: SEP2011‐00023

PUBLIC COMMENT: A 30‐day public comment period, extending from August 6, 2021 through September 8, 2021, has been established for this Draft Supplement EIS. Agencies, tribes, and members of the public are invited to comment on the Draft Supplemental EIS. Comments may be submitted in writing (paper copy and electronically).

  • Written comments may be submitted to the following address:
    • Roland Middleton, Special Projects Manager Designated SEPA OfficialWhatcom County Public Works Administration 322 N. Commercial Street, Suite 210, Bellingham, WA 98225
  • Written comments will be accepted until the close of the comment period at 4:30 PM Wednesday, September 8, 2021.
  • Electronic comments may be submitted to RMiddlet@co.whatcom.wa.us 

Following the public comment period, Whatcom County will prepare a Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement that will include responses to comments received during the comment period and additional analysis identified as necessary.

PUBLIC HEARING: A public meeting on the Draft Supplemental EIS will not be held.

PROPONENT: Whatcom County Public Works Department on behalf of the Whatcom County Flood Control Zone District

LEAD AGENCY: Whatcom County Planning and Development Services

DESIGNATED SEPA OFFICIAL: 

Roland Middleton, Special Projects Manager Designated SEPA Official

(360) 778-6212

CONTACT PERSON: Roland Middleton, Whatcom County Public Works Special Projects Manager, (360) 778‐6212.

ISSUANCE DATE: August 6, 2021