Public Information Sessions to be scheduled to detail several alternatives to be considered for further evaluation
NEW YORK – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection are currently evaluating several flood risk management alternatives for the Rahway River Basin, with the preliminary findings to be shared with area residents at two public information sessions to be scheduled in late May or early June 2014.
Included in the discussion will be preliminary economic analyses that have been completed by the Army Corps regarding flood risk management alternatives that are being reviewed as part of a long-term look at the river basin and potential steps that could be taken to alleviate flood impacts.
No single alternative has been selected for construction at this point and the study is ongoing.
“The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in close partnership with our local sponsors the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, is committed to continuing to evaluate flood risk management alternatives for the Rahway River Basin as we work toward implementing a flood risk management project that will help reduce risks to communities in the basin that have experienced significant flooding over the years,” said Army Corps’ New York District Commander Col. Paul Owen.
"New Jersey will continue to work closely with the Army Corps as it moves forward in reviewing various aspects of each of these alternatives and works with local communities to determine a best flood risk management option," said NJ DEP Commissioner Bob Martin.
Narrowing the alternatives will be partly based on the comparisons of benefits and costs between different plans that were developed by the Army Corps.
The Benefit-to-Cost ratios are based on estimated benefits, including damages prevented during modeled storm events, and estimated costs, including cost of initial construction and long-term operations and maintenance. This ratio is critical to determining whether a project would be economically justified and be implementable. At this stage, an alternative must have a benefit-to-cost ratio of approximately 1.0 or higher in order to meet economic requirements to be considered a feasible alternative.
Elected officials and stakeholders from flood-impacted communities were briefed on the initial findings at a private meeting on March 31 at the Army Corps’ New York Region headquarters. Two subsequent public information sessions will be scheduled for late spring in Rahway River Basin towns.
The entire briefing, including more information about the ongoing study in general, detailed descriptions of the alternatives evaluated and preliminary Benefit-to-Cost ratios for each alternative is available for download as a PDF online at www.nan.usace.army.mil/Rahway
Any alternative considered for further study must undergo further analysis before a Tentatively Selected Plan can be chosen. Alternatives selected for further analysis will be evaluated to formally assess potential environmental and cultural impacts through further field investigations and following the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) processes, as well optimization to further refine the particulars of each flood risk management element. Completion of the study is also dependent upon future federal funding.