News: Permit issued for repairs to properties impacted by flooding
Story by Michelle Helms
PORTLAND, Ore. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has issued a regional general permit to authorize specific repairs, reconstruction or restoration activities due to flooding in the Sandy River Basin in January 2011. Numerous properties, utilities, roadways and structures along the Sandy, Zigzag and Salmon rivers and Clear Creek suffered extensive erosion and damage as a result of the flooding.
Public meetings were held immediately following the event, in cooperation with Clackamas County and other state and federal agencies. During the meetings, Corps regulatory project managers met with property owners to share information on how to apply for permits to make the necessary repairs to their property.
“We found that many of the repairs were very similar,” said Karla Ellis, corps regulatory project manager. “Property owners could apply for permits through our normal process, but we felt that, in the long run, issuing a regional general permit would reduce the amount of paperwork and time required to authorize qualifying projects.”
The Sandy River Regional General Permit is valid through Aug. 31, 2016. It allows the Corps to be responsive to the needs of the community following January’s flood event, and for any future events. It also ensures those needs are balanced against the impacts on the public interest, ensures compliance with applicable federal and state laws, and results in minimal individual and cumulative environmental consequences.
The normal application process for obtaining permits is still available to property owners who choose to apply for them. The corps’ permitting process requires consultation with American Indian tribes and state and federal agencies. Routine permit applications are reviewed case-by-case to ensure the corps fulfills its authority to protect endangered species, historic properties and valuable cultural resources. However, for a regional general permit, consultation with the tribes and other agencies takes place once to approve activities that meet the criteria of the permit.
Property owners interested in applying for the Sandy River Basin regional general permit can find more information at http://www.nwp.usace.army.mil/regulatory