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Posted 8/18/2014

Release no. 14-042


Contact
John Prettyman
916-557-5100
spk-pao@usace.army.mil

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District has begun to acquire land and relocate residents at two of 12 properties that will be impacted by construction of the Isabella Lake Dam Safety Modification Project. As part of the analysis of the project’s potential effects on the properties, the Corps released a finding of no significant impact and supplemental environmental assessment for public review.

The purpose of the assessment is to analyze environmental and health impacts of the dam project and identify a preferred action to mitigate impacts on the two properties. The commander of the Sacramento District signed a finding of no significant impact agreeing that the Corps’ preferred action to acquire land and relocate residents is the best alternative, satisfies the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act and no further environmental documentation is needed to proceed with real estate actions.

The affected parcels evaluated in the assessment are the Lakeside Village mobile home park and a farmhouse located approximately 700 feet south of the auxiliary dam near Lake Isabella. The Isabella Lake Dam project environmental impact statement released in October 2012 determined that residents at the two properties could potentially be exposed to significant levels of construction noise, dust and diesel exhaust that exceed health standards. The analysis and information in the assessment addresses those impacts originally identified in the environmental impact statement.

Real estate actions are expected to be complete fall 2016. Impacted property owners have already been officially contacted or notified by a Corps real estate specialist as part of the process. There may be additional property owners contacted in the future, but everyone affected by this initial phase of acquisition has been contacted at this time.

The supplemental environmental impact statement and finding of no significant impact are available online at: http://go.usa.gov/EK3G 

Copies of the draft and final Isabella Lake Dam project EIS may also be obtained at http://bit.ly/IsabellaDam or by contacting the district’s public affairs office at 916-557-5100 or spk-pao@usace.army.mil 

Completed in 1953, Isabella Lake Dam is located approximately 42 miles northeast of Bakersfield. The reservoir is impounded by two earthen dams on the Kern River and Hot Springs Valley. Today, Isabella Lake and its dams help reduce flood risk for Bakersfield and the surrounding region, and are a primary water source for water users throughout Kern County. The Isabella Lake Dam Safety Modification Project looks to address overtopping, seismic and seepage issues identified with Isabella Lake’s main and auxiliary dams to reduce the likelihood of dam failure. In 2013, the Corps entered the pre-construction engineering and design phase of the project. Construction of the dam modifications is scheduled to begin in 2017. 

civil works Corps of Engineers dam safety flood infrastructure Isabella Lake Dam sacramento district U.S. Army