Wednesday, May 18, 2011
The Clearwater Program: What I Like and What I Don't Like
So, the Clearwater Program is back and going forward. I think it is better than good for all of us, but there are some significant issues I have that I'd like to address.
In my almost one hour meeting with Mr. Acosta and Ms. Winner I told them that I was very supportive of the program as long as 'Alignment 1' and possibly 'Alignment 2' becomes the recommended alignments, but that they really shouldn't bother with Alignments 3 and 4.
Yes, it is written now that 'Alignment 4', with its shaft being sunk at Royal Palms is the shortest and 'least costly' in the $500 Million Dollar or possibly less range.
Yes, there is also 'Alignment 3' with its second 'least costly' aspect and its equal distance of 9 miles as compared to 'Alignment 2'. But it requires a shaft sunk at Angel's Gate. That would be at the newer parking lot, which is used by so many visitors and local residents attending gatherings at Point Fermin Park.
Yes, 'Alignment 1' is currently written up as the most expensive and longest alignment proposed at 14 miles long and $1.4 Billion Dollars.
And yes, of the four alignments now under consideration, 'Alignment 4' might have the 'least impact' on the environment, but everyone needs to take some issues under more careful consideration, such as:
Having the second shaft at LAXT means that should a second tunneling machine be placed, debris excavated would be able to be transported by rail and truck travel and there would be the least impact on residents, residences, traffic, and access.
I offered to Mr. Acosta and Ms. Winner that there is absolutely no way I would support the placement of shafts at Angels' Gate or Royal Palms and they really need to understand how there are more environments to consider other than what happens to the ground, sea, air, animal life and plant life.
The second shaft, no matter if it was sunk at Royal Palms or Angel's Gate would require up to or more than nine months of time for 'between 10 to 40' hauling trips, per day, to occur while debris is being trucked away.
What about the environment of San Pedrans who, when they flush, shower, bathe, or drain their sinks, never use the facilities that would be furnished because of all the digging done at Royal Palms or Angel's Gate?
There are lots of good San Pedrans who have some valid feelings that those of us who 'live on The Hill' send our 'trash' to San Pedro, rather than dealing with it ourselves.
Since we who benefit from Sanitation District 5 may want to call for the placement of a shaft at Royal Palms or Angel's Gate, I think we need to understand better how those who would have to deal with the all the requirements placed on the good folks in San Pedro as far as traffic inconvenience, added noise, and other types of impacts might want to rethink that is may not be the least costly to have shafts at Royal Palms or Angel's Gate.
I would imagine that the 25,000 household Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council may wish to be one of the first to head to court to stop any incursion into their neighborhoods by the Sanitation Districts.
I also think that the city of Los Angeles might wish to impose restrictions and/or obligations on our Districts should the Districts ultimately receive approval for 'Alignment 3 or 4'.
I remember when it was said that 'over 99%' of those asked or offering opinion about the placement of any second shaft clearly stated that the LAXT site was preferred over all others.
I do think we need a new Outfall System and I support the concept and many of the options. I do not however, feel any of this needs to be placed on the backs or in other ways interfere with anyone living in San Pedro or commuting around using the major access routes around that community.
It is still understood that there are those who support an outer harbor cruise ship terminal, even with the added transit troubles between any freeway access and outer harbor cruise ship terminal.
It should be considered that should that terminal be built and become operational about the same time either the Angel's Gate or Royal Palms shaft also find approval and construction begins, San Pedrans and others could see the following:
10-40 double dirt haulers per day, traveling along at least one major route though San Pedro and then when the biggest cruise ships call on San Pedro, all that trafficking of passengers and materials associated with huge cruise ship journeys also needing crosstown transport, together require great problems with all those wishing to travel around or through San Pedro while having nothing to do with ships or shafts.
Sometimes the 'least costly' is not really the 'least costly' when compared with all factors.
I do understand that the Environmental studies require the examination of more than two 'Alternatives' and that 'Alignments 3 and 4 must be studied. But that does not mean either of them should be taken very seriously, especially when so many people have already told representatives that any second or third shaft needs to be sunk on Terminal Island.
There are many good, true, real, and necessary reasons to support the construction of a new Joint Outfall System. But none of those reasons should overcome what could happen to San Pedro and San Pedrans and others in that area, who would be impacted by a process they never fully utilize and do not pay for.