Orange County environmentalists, state park lovers and others in 2008 successfully fought the Transportation Corridor Agency's 20-year-old plan to extend the 241 Toll Road through San Onofre State Park, thanks to rejections by the California Coastal Commission and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
But the battle is not over, warns the Surfrider Foundation.
TCA has adopted a new strategy of building the extension in five-mile increments, and the agency has been busy winning approvals from regulatory bodies for the first phase.
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"'Segmentin' is illegal under state and federal law," reads a Surfrider statement. "Not only does TCA's plan circumvent important laws, this approach makes absolutely no sense. This first 5-mile segment is literally a 'road to nowhere,' ending at a dirt road and threatening to create traffic nightmares for thousands of Orange County residents."
Up next, the TCA seeks an environmental permit with the Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB), a request the water-quality protectors believe should be rejected due to adverse impacts to important wetlands, the San Juan Creek "and the surrounding watershed--which could affect the coastal zone and ocean resources."
A federal agency has already agreed the San Juan Creek watershed is degraded due to erosion from development and cannot endure any more growth, notes Surfrider.
Those ready to rejoin the "Save Trestles" fight are urged to send the RWQCB letters urging them to deny TCA's application, as well as attend a hearing on the matter at 9 a.m. March 13 at Costa Mesa City Hall, 77 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa.
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