Notice Date

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is providing notice that a Supplemental Environmental Assessment (SEA) to evaluate the Whitewood Creek restoration project is available for public comment and review. We issue this notice to provide the opportunity for other Federal and State agencies, Native American tribes, non-governmental organizations, and the public to comment on the SEA. These actions are part of our effort to comply with the general provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA); NEPA regulations; other Federal laws, regulations, and Executive Orders; and our policies for compliance with those laws and regulations including 44 C.F.R. Part 9 and FEMA Directive 108-1 & Instruction 108-1-1.

This project would mitigate severe flood damage along Whitewood Creek in Deadwood, Lawrence County, South Dakota. Funds would be provided through FEMA’s Public Assistance grant program for damage that occurred as a result of FEMA DR-4467-SD pursuant to the authority of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, Public Law 93-288, as amended.

This SEA tiers off the Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA) for Watershed Resiliency Projects in the State of South Dakota (November 2021); no significant environmental impacts were identified in the South Dakota Watershed PEA and a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) was issued in January 2022. The Watershed FONSI states that an SEA will be required for projects that do not meet the thresholds in the PEA, create impacts not described in the PEA, create impacts greater in magnitude, extent, or duration than those described in the PEA, or require mitigation measures to keep impacts below significant levels that are not described in the PEA. This SEA is required because of the potential effects to historic properties in the project area, namely the Deadwood Burlington & Missouri River Railroad (B&M) roundhouse (SHPO ID- 39LA3000.2023.03) within the Deadwood Historic District (39LA3000) and Deadwood National Historic Landmark (Reference No. 66000716), as identified in the Archeological Research Center’s report A Monitoring Report of Pre-Construction Trenching in Area 1C for the City of Deadwood’s FEMA Project that must be evaluated.

During severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding from June 30 to July 21, 2019, Whitewood Creek’s embankments were eroded and trees and other vegetation lining the creek were uprooted causing extensive damage. The purpose and need for this project is to restore watershed hydraulic capacity and floodplain capacity through hazard mitigation and watershed resiliency actions. The project includes rehabilitation activities at six locations along Whitewood Creek for a total of 3.59 acres of disturbed surface area, and includes the removal and replacement of vegetated embankments, gabion baskets, and retaining walls. A stormwater line and stormwater discharge points along Whitewood Creek would be relocated, and an upstream stormwater retention pond would be regraded. All areas adjacent to the proposed project are fully developed.

All FEMA funded actions will be completed in compliance with applicable federal, tribal, state, and local laws, regulations, Executive Orders, etc. including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), National Historic Preservation Act, Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act; as well as Executive Orders that require federal agencies to focus attention on the environment and human health with respect to Floodplain Management (EO 11988), Protection of Wetlands (EO 11990), and Environmental Justice (EO 12898).

FEMA has determined the project is located within wetlands and a Special Flood Hazard Area (floodway and 1 percent annual chance flood hazard) and may affect or be affected by the mapped floodplain and wetlands. FEMA’s 8-step decision-making process, per EO 11988 and EO 11990, has been completed and all actions will be implemented in a manner that will avoid or minimize potential impacts to the extent practicable. Bioengineering features have been incorporated into the design for all sites where practicably feasible. Any impacts to jurisdictional wetlands will be addressed in compliance with Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. The proposed action will not adversely affect the floodplain function and will reduce future flood hazards. Deadwood must acquire a Floodplain Development Permit and comply with State and Local floodplain protection standards and the National Flood Insurance Program regulations. 

The comment period for the draft SEA and 8-step decision-making process will remain open for 14 days following publication of this notice. After gathering public comments, the draft SEA will become final in accordance with FEMA Directive 108-1 & Instruction 108-1-1, FEMA’s implementing procedures for NEPA.

The Draft SEA is available for viewing online at the following locations:

You can provide comments or obtain more detailed information about the proposed project by contacting FEMA Region 8 by email at and including ‘Whitewood Creek Restoration SEA’ in the subject line or by U.S. Mail at: Denver Federal Center, Building 710, Box 25267, Denver, Colorado 80225-0267 Attn: “Kyle Cheeseman”.

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