In 1988, a USACE project was authorized by Congress to reduce the flood risk along the Truckee River within the Truckee Meadows, but was later suspended after changes in real estate costs made the project economically infeasible. Since the 1990’s, there has been strong local interest in establishing a “living river” corridor to convey flood flows, reestablish native habitat, and restore fish passage along the Truckee River. Despite several attempts to identify a comprehensive solution for flooding, ecosystem restoration and recreation, the USACE's reevaluation of the authorized project was rescoped in 2012 to focus on flood risk management and basic recreation features.
The resulting revised plan for the Truckee Meadows Flood Control Project, which was supported by the Truckee River Flood Management Authority (TRFMA) and recommended in a Chief of Engineers Report, was authorized by Section 7002 of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA), 2014 (P.L. 113-121).
In 2018, TRFMA submitted a Locally Preferred Plan (LPP) for consideration by the USACE under Section 1036 of WRRDA, 2014. Section 1036 directs the implementation of a LPP in lieu of an authorized plan if the Secretary determines that specified criteria are met. Section 1036 specifies four criteria that must be met:
Criteria 1: LPP has a higher level of flood risk reduction than the authorized plan;
Criteria 2: LPP is technically feasible;
Criteria 3: LPP is environmentally acceptable; and
Criteria 4: Benefits of the LPP exceed the cost of the LPP.
The USACE conducted a review of the proposed LPP and determined there were significant environmental, cost, and implementation risks associated with the proposed plan. Therefore, the USACE determined that the continued expenditure of Federal funds for the preparation, review, coordination, and approval of a complete General Reevaluation Report and Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the LPP would not likely result in an implementable project. Evaluation of the LPP was terminated by the USACE on November 1, 2019. TRFMA may submit a revised LPP for consideration by the USACE in the future. The plan that was recommended in the Chief of Engineers Report also remains authorized for potential implementation by the USACE.