CHARLESTON, S.C. — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Charleston District and the City of Charleston will hold a virtual public scoping meeting on the Charleston Peninsula Coastal Flood Risk Management Study on March 30 from 5-7:30 p.m. to encourage public input as the study transitions from an Environmental Assessment (EA) to Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
The public meeting is also part of a 30-day public input period which began March 23 following publication of the EIS Notice of Intent in the Federal Register and runs until April 22.
Conducting an EIS allows USACE to do more robust analysis on project impacts and more clearly define measures to mitigate for those impacts. It also allows for expanded public engagement on the proposed plan through public meetings and release of a revised, updated draft report later this year for public review.
To facilitate the EIS transition and scoping process, USACE and the City specifically request the public’s input on other potential coastal storm surge risk alternatives for USACE to consider, other potential impacts of the proposed action to be analyzed, and assistance identifying existing information and analyses relevant to the proposed action.
USACE will use this input to build upon previous scoping and analysis conducted since the study began in 2018. Comments submitted during the last comment period that are relevant to the scoping of potential alternatives and impacts are already part of the EIS scoping process, and do not need to be resubmitted. Input received during this period will be incorporated into the draft EIS report.
In addition to gathering public scoping input, the meeting also includes a thorough update on the study’s progress since release of the Draft EA April 2020 and an overview of the overall National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process. After the presentation, the public is invited to provide verbal input. Individual input may be time-limited to ensure other attendees also have an opportunity to speak.
Attendees and the general public are also encouraged to submit comments online using our online form, mailing Charleston District at 69A Hagood Avenue, Charleston, SC 29403 (Attention: Planning and Environmental Branch), or emailing Chs-Peninsula-Study@usace.army.mil.
As a result of the EIS transition, the expected study completion date has been extended from Fall 2021 to Summer 2022. The transition does not alter the study’s goals, expand the authorized focus on coastal storm surge, or change the City’s role. The study’s original goals remain the same: reducing risks to human health, life and safety and reducing economic damages caused by coastal storm surge events through a cost-effective, environmentally-sound and feasible solution.
Alternatives, including the proposed action with alignment of the perimeter storm surge wall and localized non-structural measures, will continue to be examined and refined as additional input and analysis are reviewed. This continued analysis and input will inform more specific strategies for mitigating impacts to historical, visual, community and natural resources and may lead to adjustments in the initial proposed cost of construction.
There are two ways to join the virtual public meeting. The session will open at 4:45 p.m. and begin at 5 p.m. For the best experience, participants are encouraged to access the meeting from a computer.
- To join online, enter the following link into a browser. The meeting number is 199 481 3582 and the password (case sensitive) is AmPtk7yG?53. Attendees may connect to audio through a computer or phone. Meeting link: https://usace1.webex.com/usace1/j.php?MTID=mfb5acdf5441b308baac6d4a65fa72452.
- To join by phone, dial +1 (844) 800-2712 US Toll Free and enter the access code 199 481 3582.
For the latest study information and for more on the public meeting, visit www.sac.usace.army.mil/charlestonpeninsulastudy. For those unable to attend the virtual public meeting, the presentation will also be published on the website following the public meeting.