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News in Depth

CA Bill Would Direct So. Cal. Ass'n of Gov'ts (SCAG) To Decide Annually If L.A., OC and Inland Counties Taking "Fair Share" of Aviation Burdens and Benefits Using SCAG Forecasts Of Flights Needed;

Requires Applying Environmental Justice To Assure Goal of SCAG's Plan Is No Ethnic Or Racial Minority or Low Income Community Bears Disproportionate Share Of Environmental Burdens Of Regional Aviation Activity; We Post Bill Text Verbatim

LB City Hall says it took no position on bill; Lowenthal, Oropeza & Havice voted for it; bill goes to Senate

(June 4, 2002) -- A proposed bill that could affect future L.A. County aviation activity, and thus LB Airport flights, has passed the CA Assembly that would direct the Southern California Ass'n of Governments" (SCAG) to determine each year if the SCAG's aviation program in its regional transportation plan "provides a fair share distribution of both the burdens and benefits of commercial aviation" among L.A., Orange, San Bernardino, and Riverside counties...and if area airports are making efforts to meet levels that SCAG claims are necessary.

The bill requires SCAG to determine the "fair share distribution" of burdens and benefits appropriate for each county "based on an assessment of future passenger and cargo demand likely to be generated by and reasonably attributable to each county."

It further requires SCAG to "assure that principles of environmental justice are adhered to in the development of the [SCAG] regional transportation plan aviation program to assure that a goal of the aviation program of the regional transportation plan is that no ethnic or racial minority or low income community bears a disproportionate share of the environmental burden of regional aviation activity. For purposes of this section, environmental justice shall be construed to conform with the provisions of the applicable state law."

The bill also requires SCAG to "annually review the master plans and airport layout plans of each commercial airport or proposed airport for consistency with the SCAG regional transportation plan...In making a determination of consistency with the regional transportation plan, SCAG shall include a determination whether airports located within each county are making reasonable progress towards the regional transportation plan's goals and are likely to meet projected cargo and passenger demand in a timely manner."

SCAG is a regional government body comprised of officials on government entities throughout L.A., OC, San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. It includes two LB City Councilmembers (currently Bonnie Lowenthal and Rob Webb) but SCAG is not directly accountable to LB voters.

We post on links below the verbatim bill text, a legislative committee analysis and the Assembly vote on passage. LB area Assemblymembers Alan Lowenthal, Jenny Oropeza and Sally Havice voted for AB 2333. The bill now goes to the state Senate.

LB City Hall's Legislative Affairs Officer, Carl Kemp, told that his office is aware of the bill and the City of Long Beach has thus far taken no position on it.

"We are aware of this legislation and its potential impacts on the City of Long Beach. We are watching the bill with great interest as it progresses through the legislature. As a general principle, the City is supportive of legislation that allows localities to maintain control over affairs within their boundaries," Mr. Kemp said. posts below:

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