December 2008

On September 22, 2008, the Port of Los Angeles and the Army Corps of Engineers prepared a draft Environmental Impact Statement.  The DEIS covered a proposed Specific Development project and associated infrastructure improvements on approximately 400 acres in connection with the San Pedro Waterfront Project.  The proposed Project involves development of a variety of land uses within the proposed project area, including public waterfront and open space areas, commercial development, transportation and parking facilities, and expansion of cruise ship facilities and operations.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on December 15, 2008, however, issued a letter expressing environmental concerns about the significant and unavoidable impacts to air quality and environmental justice communities, and planned ocean disposal of sediments.  EPA recommended commitments to conduct an already planned port-wide health risk assessment, coordination with the environmental justice community to identify additional measures to offset health impacts, implementation of a port-wide health impacts assessment to inform mitigation, and identification of beneficial reuse opportunities for sediment.  The EPA gave the DEIS a rating of “EC2,” which means that it has insufficient information to address its environmental concerns about the project.

Information about the DEIS can be found here:


The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and Clackamas County are proposing to build a new, east-west oriented, limited-access highway between I-205 and the Rock Creek Junction the stated of which is to address the existing congestion and safety problems in the OR 212/224 corridor between its interchange with I-205 and Rock Creek Junction, and to serve the growing demand for regional travel and access to the state highway system.  On October 13, 2008, the Supplement Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS) was issued for the project.

However, the United States Environmental Protection Agency in a December 12, 2008, letter to Ms. Michelle Eraut of the Federal Highway Administration and Ms.  Emily Moshofsky of the Oregon Department of Transportation expressed concerns about the impacts to locally important habitats and open space, as well as wetlands.  Furthermore, EPA stated that it has concerns regarding environmental justice, stimulated travel and growth effects, air toxics and greenhouse gas emissions, ground water resources, and water quality and quantity impacts that could affect threatened fish species.  The EPA gave the SDEIS a rating of “EC2,” which means that the EPA believes that the draft EIS does not contain sufficient information for EPA to fully assess environmental impacts that should be avoided in order to fully protect the environment.

The California Air Resources Board unanimously adopted its Scoping Plan to implement the sweeping changes in greenhouse gas emission dictated by AB 32.

As envisaged by the Scoping Plan, the state’s greenhouse gas emissions would be cut by 15% over the next 12 years.  Although it seems to lay out targets for most sectors of the economy, there are some sectors that are missing, like aircraft and airports. All told,  it amounts to an average cut of four tons of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases for every person in the state.

The Scoping Plan, which  will be implemented over the next two years, puts California at the forefront of national climate policy at a time when President-elect Barack Obama has vowed to put control of greenhouse gas emissions at the top of his environmental agenda.

Past posts on this topic: