Constructing flood control facilities can impact the environment. We share a common goal to lessen those impacts by working with numerous partners. Click on the tabs below for more information about the District’s environmental programs.
The quality of Southern Nevada’s water is important to the future of our community. Unlike water discharged from point sources such as industries or sewage treatment facilities, stormwater pollution is caused by everyday activities in our community. In the Las Vegas Valley, rainwater that falls onto streets, driveways, lawns, etc., is channeled into the storm drain and flows untreated to the Las Vegas Wash and Lake Mead. As this water moves across the Valley into the Wash, it carries with it pollutants from our cars, our lawn fertilizers, our pets, and many of our other activities.
The District is the coordinating agency for the Stormwater Management Committee or SQMC. The SQMC is an interagency committee comprised of representatives from the cities of Henderson, Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Clark County and the District that oversees implementation of a regional National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit. Click here for more information on the Las Vegas Valley Stormwater Program
Passed in 1970, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires federal agencies to assess the environmental impacts of their actions before taking them. Actions requiring NEPA analysis and review include:
- Issuance of federal permits
- Promulgating federal land management policies and actions
- Construction of publicly-owned facilities
In 1991, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), in cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) completed a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) assessing the impacts of issuing rights-of-way for District flood control facilities on federal land in Clark County. In 2004, the BLM and the Corps completed an updated to the FEIS in a Supplemental Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS). For more information about the SEIS and the District's NEPA compliance programs, click here.
Section 404 of the Clean Water Act requires a permit to discharge fill into wetlands and other so-called "waters of the Untied States." These permits are often required for activities associated with the construction of conveyance facilities (channels) and detention basins.
In order to streamline the permitting process, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has issued a regional general permit for the construction, operation and maintenance of flood control facilities in Clark County. Regional General Permit 7 outlines the process and procedures for obtaining coverage and permits for the construction, operation and maintenance of flood channels and detention basins. For more information about Regional General Permit 7 click here.
When it comes to the environmental impacts associated with the construction and maintenance of flood control facilities, the District must follow what is referred to as the mitigation hierarchy:
First, the District strives to avoid impacts to environmental resources altogether. If impacts cannot be avoided, the District plans and implements projects to minimize those impacts to the extent that is practicable and feasible. Finally, the District is often required to mitigate or compensate for unavoidable impacts to natural resources. For more information on how the District manages impacts to environmental resources, click here.