13 environmental groups OK Sutter levee work
Thirteen environmental groups have signed off on the 41-mile, $265 million Feather River West Levee Project, a spokeswoman for the Sutter Butte Flood Control Agency said Friday.
The project still awaits an Army Corps of Engineers permit, said Kim Floyd, who noted the district hopes to begin work in August and complete the first phase in about two years.
Sutter Butte Flood Control Agency board members were told Wednesday the project would be delayed if even one of 13 environmental groups with concerns about the project failed to sign off on it. But Floyd said all did so by noon Friday.
The long-planned regional project would improve levees along the west side of the Feather River from the Thermalito Afterbay in Butte County to Star Bend just south of Yuba City. A second phase of the project still being planned would eventually include an area south of Star Bend to the confluence of the Feather River and Sutter Bypass.
Floyd said the levees are not meant to promote growth and that public safety is the sole purpose of the project, although officials have noted a side benefit of improved levees is to make it more attractive for developers to build.
Once levees are certified to provide 200-year flood protection, she added, property owners will maintain their ability to build, repair and remodel. John Cain, a representative of the American Rivers environmental group, had said at the Wednesday meeting in Yuba City of flood control agency directors that he would seek support from the dozen other environmental groups for the project.
CONTACT Ryan McCarthy at