Time for a New Look at the Big Dig Plan for Hahamongna
Now that there is a new and more environmentally sensitive Board of Supervisors in the County of Los Angeles, it's time for that Board to take a fresh look at their Flood Control District's devastating program for Hahamongna Watershed Park in the Arroyo Seco at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains.
In November 2014 the old board rubber-stamped the Flood Control District's plan to send more than 400 diesel-spewing trucks each day for three to five years into that rare alluvial canyon known as Hahamongna to excavate and truck out 2.4 million cubic yards of sand and sediment to distant landfills. The Arroyo Seco Foundation and Pasadena Audubon challenged the $100 million plan with a lawsuit, affectionately dubbed "No Big Dig," that was heard by Superior Court Judge James Chalfant early this year. He ruled that the County's EIR was severaly deficient in three aspects: 1) air quality and the type of trucks used; 2) the mitigation ratio necessary to compensate for the damage the project will do; and 3) the cumulative biological impacts of this project and othere related projects.
Meanwhile the Flood Control District has been unable to obtain the permits necessary to begin their massive mining and trucking operation. New endangered species have been identified in the basin, and community opposition has remained solidly opposed to the plan. The new Board of Supervisors is reputed to have a strong environmental focus. Its first test should be a review of the Flood Control District's draconian program and a settlement of the No Big Dig lawsuit with a program that will protect the rare environmental resources in Hahamongna as well as the surrounding neighborhoods.
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