ICF prepared all the environmental permits and conducted a comprehensive public outreach program for this large water delivery project to take delivery of water from the American River to help meet future drinking water needs in the central Sacramento County area and supplement aggressive water conservation and recycling programs in the East Bay.
ICF was retained by the Freeport Regional Water Authority (FRWA), which was created by exercise of a joint powers agreement between the Sacramento County Water Agency (SCWA) and the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD), to prepare a joint Environmental Impact Report (EIR)/Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process for the Freeport Regional Water Project (FRWP). The Freeport Project consisted of a new 185-mgd intake on the Sacramento River near the community of Freeport, including state-of-the-art fish screen, a new 15-mile-long pipeline/tunnel to convey water east to the existing Folsom South Canal, a future water treatment plant in central Sacramento Count, and a pumping plant with a 15-mile-long pipeline and a pre-treatment plant.
A highly contentious effort, this project required state and federal take permits, water quality certification, National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits, streambed alteration agreements, encroachment permits, a state lands use lease, and an individual section 404 permit. Services provided by development of project alternatives; detailed alternatives screening report to comply with Section 404(b)(1) guidelines; extensive technical analyses, particularly for fish, wildlife, plants, recreation, and transportation; detailed hydrologic modeling of project alternatives; Endangered Species Act (ESA) compliance activities; cultural resource investigations; and assistance obtaining permits. The Corps issued a permit in four months, virtually unheard of for a project this large and complex. The EIR/EIS document was recognized by California Association of Environmental Professional with an award for "Outstanding Environmental Analysis Document."
In addition, the project involved extensive outreach to property owners, community leaders, elected officials, and agency representatives. ICF’s strategic communications team designed and managed the comprehensive public involvement and outreach program for the FRWP, from scoping phases of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in 2002 through project design and construction. Public involvement and outreach responsibilities included stakeholder identification and outreach; facilitation of community focus groups; execution of community meetings; elected official and agency briefings; participation in all project design meetings, weekly construction meetings, management and board of directors meetings; and development of all informational materials including fact sheets, brochures, a project website, a training video, and a documentary video.
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