North Long Beach Community Action Group Will Discuss Proposed
|(August 3, 2012) -- With an August 29 deadline looming for public comments, the NLB Community Action Group will hold a community meeting (with the public citywide invited to attend) on Sunday, Aug. 5 to discuss the proposed I710 Expansion Project Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement.
The meeting will be held at LBPD's North Substation, 4891 Atlantic Ave., from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday Aug. 5. NLBCAG President Dan Pressburg says representatives of the CA Dept. of Transportation (Caltrans) and the L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (METRO) are scheduled to attend, speak and answer questions. In a release, Mr. Pressburg writes:
The freeway-widening expansion project is billed as a way to cut diesel emissions, including ozone and ultrafine particulates, in the low-income neighborhoods that line the freeway. Smog experts say particulates from trucks are the greatest contributor to local smog-related cancer risk, and university studies have shown the neighborhoods along the 710 Freeway corridor to be cancer and asthma hotspots.
A number of community activists have expressed concerns about aspects of the I-710 draft EIR/EIS, a document that could be used for decades to justify significant adverse impacts of the freeway expansion.
Veteran community advocate Laurie Angel (8th district) (who attended a public meeting in Paramount organized by Caltrans/Metro officials) noted that the EIR/EIS doesn't show or analyze the impacts of final designs, which the public won't be able to see until after the period for public comment has ended. Ms. Angel asked if the public would have an opportunity to comment when designs are finalzied...and an official portrayed her request as seeking a "second bite" at the apple [although the public should arguably have the right to see the project's final designs when it comments in the first place], then indicated Caltrans would decide if public comment on this would be allowed.
In a related matter, Caltrans has thus far declined to extend the time for public comments beyond Aug. 29, despite a request by (among others) 7th dist. Councilman James Johnson.
Veteran Wrigley community advocate Joan Greenwood also attended the Paramount meeting and voiced concerns over plans to put footings or supports for some portions of a proposed four-lane elevated "freight corridor" (truck lanes) in, on or alongside the L.A. River's flood control levees. The draft EIR/EIS also acknowledges that as part of the project, some bridges spanning the L.A. river would be changed in ways that would consume some square footage within the L.A. River channel. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has expressed concern in writing (April 2012 letter included in draft EIR appendix) about these matters but the draft EIR contends the project's design characteristics and a consultant's hydraulic study indicate flood conveyance capacity won't be significantly reduced. The Corps of Engineers hasn't accepted this to date and has insisted on additional evidence that to our knowledge Caltrans/Metro haven't provided thus far.
If the Corps of Engineers were to conclude that parts of I-710 project would reduce the L.A. river's capacity, this could arguably invite the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to do what it did in the 1990s: require property owners with federally backed mortgages -- even in areas miles away from the L.A. river -- to buy costly flood insurance (out of pocket cost could be from $500-$1,000 annually depending on one's home and loan). .
Earlier this week, the governing board of the Wrigley Area Neighborhood Alliance recommended for a member vote extension of the EIR/EIS comment period, as well as a "no" on I-710 Alternative 6 variations (which include elevated "freight corridor"/truck lanes) based on insufficient analysis of impacts on flood management infrastructure.
NLBCAG President Dan Pressburg, who also attended the meeting organized by project proponents in Paramount and heard their presentation at the last WANA meeting, will be presiding at Sunday's NLBCAG meeting.
North Long Beach Community Action Group
The North Long Beach Community Action Group is a grassroots organized 501(c)(3)
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