Congressman John Garamendi

Representing the 3rd District of California
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Congressman lauds reactivation of lower Cache Creek flood study

October 23, 2018
In The News

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressman John Garamendi is hailing the the reactivation of the Lower Cache Creek Feasibility Study by the US Army Corps of Engineers.

The study, which was suspended in 2015, will help determine the most fiscally and environmentally responsible method of protecting against the risk of flooding from the Lower Cache Creek.

Funding to conduct the study was secured by Garamendi in conjunction with Woodland city officials as a part of the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 (Water Resources Development Act) expected to be signed into law soon.

“The reactivation of the Lower Cache Creek Feasibility Study is a big win for the City of Woodland,” said Garamendi, D-3rd District, who represents Yolo County. Garamendi is a senior member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee who represents over 200 miles of the Sacramento valley,

“This is the result of a team effort with the City and the Army Corps of Engineers, and it will help keep Woodland residents safe and foster responsible pathways to economic development.”

Garamendi has also sent a letter to the Army Corps urging the agency to complete the  reactivated study as expeditiously as possible with the dedicated funds allotted to the study under the his provision in the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 (Water Resources Development Act).

Regionally, Garamendi also secured language within the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 (Water Resources Development Act) for other Sacramento Valley flood control projects and California priorities, including:

News of the reactivation became public this week before the Woodland City Council, which received a briefing on the project.

The work is expected to pick up again after a three-year “pause” sought by the city to find other “non-federal” sponsors in hopes of paying for 200-year flood protection. The city has already funded around $3.5 million for the long-delayed work, but it’s unknown how much the final bill would be and how much the city would, in fact, have to pay.

As part of its discussions Tuesday, the council unanimously approved an $86,600 contact as part of an overall $210,600 consulting agreement  with Larsen Wurzel Associates to review the possibilities for leveraging state and federal fund sources, as part of the development of a strategic plan for flood control.

It’s hoped the study will result in funding for a levee along the northern border of Woodland to provide it with 200-year flood protection, meaning a flood that has a 0.5 percent probability of occurring any year.

This study is designed being sought by the city is meant to identify a “preferred” project that addresses community flood risks while also meeting federal requirements of a National Economic Development plan that would qualify for federal funding, subject to Congressional appropriation. This means the city — and most likely Yolo County and even the state — wouldn’t have to carry the cost of the entire project.

The city initiated the “pause” in 2015 because it needed to confirm that the economic development could be supported by the community and would not have negative effects on trapping sediment and naturally occurring mercury washing down the creek from the mountains — which could make flooding worse or contaminate the waterway.

In early 2017, the city learned the Army Corps had re-classified the study as “Inactive,” halting all federally funded work because the city had initiated its “pause.”

Any final barrier could stretch for miles along the community’s northern border, from just west of County Road 98 to just east of County Road 102.