Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Update on Creek Road Bridge

One of the procedural issues holding up the full repair of Creek Road Bridge is the environmental study under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act. We recently we received a copy of a letter that FEMA sent to the US Fish and Wildlife Service making a request for informal consultation with them under the Act. Since some of the proposed work involves rip rap and the use of a bobcat vehicle in the creek bed area, the environmental consultation is required. The report concluded that according to the California Natural Diversity Database, there are no California red-legged frog occurrences within 9 miles of the bridge, and thus it is unlikely that the bridge work has the potential to affect the California red-legged frog. However, FEMA is still recommending avoidance and minimization measures that were specified in the letter. These include: minimizing disturbance to habitat, returning project site contours to pre-construction condition or better, installation of sediment control devices, no petroleum based products to be used in rip rap, and strict pollution control. The US Fish and Wildlife service now needs to provide a response to FEMA’s report.