Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Lawsuit Resurrected to Kill Zombie Toll Road

Back from the dead, a proposal to build the first segment of the 241 toll road was certified by the Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency ("TCA") on April 18, 2013.  On May 22, 2013, a vigilant group of environmentalists, including Surfrider Foundation, resurrected our California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA") lawsuit that challenged the original 16-mile toll road proposal in 2006.  The fight to Save Trestles has now moved to court again.

For over a decade, Surfrider Foundation has been opposing the ill-conceived plan to build the Foothill-South Toll Road, which was originally aligned to go straight through a senstive watershed and bisect a state park. Surfrider objects to the toll road's potential harm to water quality, endangered species and habitat, loss of state park land, and impairment to coastal recreational resources.  In February 2008, the California Coastal Commission ruled that the toll road was unacceptable for these reasons under the Coastal Act, after thousands of concerned citizens voiced opposition at the Commission hearing. The U.S. Secretary of Commerce also upheld the Coastal Commission’s decision after the TCA appealed in 2008.  However, in 2013, the TCA approved proceeding with the first 5.5-mile segment of this toll road, which does not enter the Coastal Zone (yet).  The environmental groups believe this is just the first part of the full toll road and that the TCA would like to start building now so they can gain political momentum for the full road.

To learn all the gory details about the lawsuit check out Surfrider's Coastal Blog article by our Legal Director Angela Howe.

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