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Final Public Notice – Trujillo Creek Flood Mitigation Project, San Diego County, California EMF-2020-BR-177-0001

Final Public Notice
Trujillo Creek Flood Mitigation Project
San Diego County, California

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) proposes to provide federal financial assistance under the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) Grant Program to the Pala Band of Mission Indians (Subapplicant) in San Diego County, California, to mitigate flood hazards by constructing two earthen berms along the western edge of Trujillo Creek on the Pala Indian Reservation (proposed action). Pursuant to Executive Order 11988 (Floodplain Management), Executive Order 11990 (Protection of Wetlands), and FEMA’s implementing regulations at Title 44 of the Code of Federal Regulations Part 9, FEMA hereby provides interested parties with a notice of its final decision and an explanation of the alternatives that were considered.

The purpose of the proposed action is to reduce flood hazards. The proposed action consists of the following: 1) constructing a 290-foot long and approximately 50-foot-wide earthen flood berm across the westerly braid of Trujillo Creek, approximately 1,600 feet northeast of the Pala Wastewater Treatment Plant; and 2) constructing a 70-foot-long and approximately 65-foot-wide berm near the northeast end of the wastewater treatment plant along Henderson Road.

The project area is depicted on the FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM), Number 06073C0200F, effective May 16, 2012. The proposed action lies within Zone D, an area that has possible but undetermined flood hazards. According to hydrology analysis done by the Pala Band of Mission Indians, the Pala Indian Reservation is vulnerable to the effects of 100-year flood flows with a major floodplain associated with Trujillo Creek. Most recently, in February 2019, extensive flooding occurred in the project area. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Wetlands Inventory Map shows the project is adjacent to riverine habitat. However, based on a review of high-resolution aerial imagery and observations made during a biological survey in June 2022, the topography of the area does not support prolonged periods of inundation and does not have defined wetland habitat features. Therefore, it is unlikely that wetlands are present in or adjacent to the project area.

A map of the project area and its location within the floodplain and wetlands is available for public inspection. Parties interested in receiving a copy of the map should contact the FEMA Region IX Environmental Officer using contact information provided in this notice.

Three alternatives to the proposed action were considered: Alternative 1: No Action; Alternative 2: Construct Detention Basins; and Alternative 3: Channelization of Trujillo Creek. Under Alternative 1, no action would be undertaken. This Alternative is not recommended because the area would remain at risk for flooding. Alternative 2 would involve the construction of upstream detention basins to divert and temporarily store Trujillo Creek floodwaters, reducing the risk of breakaway flow and overtopping. This Alternative is not recommended due to the high cost associated with the large detention basins and greater impacts on biological resources when compared to the proposed action. Alternative 3 would require excavation of a deeper primary channel to increase the conveyance capacity of Trujillo Creek, reducing the risk of breakaway flow and overtopping. This Alternative is not recommended because of the high cost and greater impacts on Trujillo Creek biological resources when compared to the proposed action.

FEMA has determined that the proposed project is the only practicable alternative available; therefore, the proposed action must be in the floodplain. The proposed action would have no significant adverse impact on the floodplain and would benefit the area by reducing the risk of flooding and flood damage. The large majority of the proposed project’s berms would be constructed outside of Trujillo Creek, and all efforts will be made to avoid, or at least minimize construction within the primary channel of Trujillo Creek. In addition, biotechnical measures would be incorporated into the designs to provide habitat functions where practical. The Pala Band of Mission Indians has declared that the proposed action conforms to local floodplain standards, and would be responsible for the management, construction, and maintenance of the proposed action.

Additional information about FEMA’s proposed action may be requested by writing the FEMA Region IX Environmental Officer at FEMA, 1111 Broadway, Suite 1200, Oakland, California 94607, or All requests should be received no later than 15 days after publication of this notice. No action will be taken before this date.

Notice-FEMA Trujillo Creek BRIC FINAL Public Notice 021424