TCA Takes Another Run at State Clean Water Board by Appealing Denial of Tesoro Extension

If a million times you don't succeed, try, try again.

That seems to be the motto of the Transportation Corridors Agencies–or TCA or “The Toll Roads,” as the hep cats call 'em–which after being rejected by the feds for a full 20-mile extension of the 241 Toll Road into ecologically sensitive parts of South County in 2008 and by state water regulators for a perceived piecemeal approach to the same ends in June, is reviving its Tesoro Extension yet again.


The TCA board just voted to appeal the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board's denial of a permit required to move ahead with the Tesoro Extension, which had been the first five-mile leg of the complete path the Bush Administration's Commerce secretary and the California Coastal Commission shot down separately in 2008.

To environmental groups and other critics who contend toll-road operators are trying to pull a fast one by getting each leg of the full route approved one at a time, the TCA has claimed its current plans do not extend beyond the Tesoro Extension and that getting the water-pollution regulator's permission is just a small, step in a long planning and public commenting process.

If true, it's started with a blast, as tons of foes turned out in June to oppose the Tesoro Extension (just as they had in 2008). But Tesoro's importance to the TCA obviously cannot be minimized, even by the agency itself, if it's willing to light yet another fire under the always energized anti- campaigners.

As Lisa Bartlett, chairwoman of the Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency, reportedly told the Orange County Register (apparently behind their paywall so I won't link), “We weren't, obviously, pleased with the result.”

So just keep try, trying, baby!

Email: mc****@oc******.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!

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