Wednesday, February 08, 2012

It's Not Here Yet...But Something Else Is!

Maybe. Hopefully. Perhaps. Sometime in the near future, we will see the new Environmental Impact Report for Ponte Vista at San Pedro.

So, while we all wait, how about practicing on another E.I.R., this time for The Clearwater Program?

The Clearwater Program is a project begun to create more capacity to move our 'stuff' from the Carson California waste treatment plant out to the Pacific Ocean.

A new 'Joint Outfall System; (JOS) is being planned to help support and bypass portions of the two old outfall systems under Western Avenue.

The new E.I.R. has for the 'recommended plan' a new tunnel deep under our areas from Carson to Royal Palms Beach where a secondary Outfall System Tunnel shaft would be sunk and retrieval of the tunneling equipment and debris would be accessed.

The E.I.R. has attachments and maps that clearly show the outfall tunnel going under San Pedro beginning at Gaffey Street, then heading west under Capitol Drive, then south again along Western Avenue, then under Dodson Avenue, back under Western, down to a tiny portion of Paseo Del Mar where it will be accessed at the bottom of the cliff on Sanitation Department land.

Now there will be far too many folks up in arms about the tunnel going under Gaffey, Capitol, Western and other streets, but Western Avenue has be the surface area for two existing outfall tunnels, one built in about 1938 and the other completed in 1957.

There really should be little to worry about with respect to tunneling under our areas UNLESS the engineers don't do their job and something 'odd' happens. Those of us living along the route probably won't notice anything unless we drive along 25th Street and Gaffey Street, during our daily drives.

The Sanitation Districts are recommending the least costly route that would certainly create the biggest headaches for those of us living on the surface.

Had the recommend site have been to place the outfall system access shaft on Terminal Island, not only would there be little residential and business traffic issues, it would be directly next to a rail line and very close to multiple freeway accesses.

You can find out more information about The Clearwater Program by visiting: You can find access to the Environmental Impact Report which should be constructed similar to how the Ponte Vista at San Pedro E.I.R. should look.

The comment period for The Clearwater Program's E.I.R. begins on February 10 and is currently scheduled to end on April 10, 2012.

I urge everyone to demand an extension of the comment period because of events that have changed the landscape and the transit options for everyone wishing to visit the area of Royal Palms.

Since the beginning of the studies for the E.I.R. and since the time the documents were initially prepared, a major transit option literally slipped away.

Fairly close to the location of the planned outfall shaft, a portion of the cliff and land supporting a segment of Paseo Del Mar failed and it took out a stretch of that roadbed.

I feel very strongly that before any shaft preparation begins and long before any dirt haulers visit the shaft site, Paseo Del Mar must be repaired to allow for traffic at least equal to what travel over it before the landslide occurred.

While the residents of South Shores and most of eastern Rancho Palos Verdes utilize services of the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County, the Palisades neighborhoods and the vast majority of San Pedro residences and businesses send their 'stuff' to Terminal Island and the city's waste treatment plant.

What that means is that the residents and businesses that will suffer the greatest impacts of the thousands of truck trips though San Pedro and all the other construction traffic, will see no benefit from the Program.

Perhaps 'we', those of us who will benefit from what I feel is a worthy and needed Program, need to discuss what is really the 'least costly' and not necessarily just look at the dollar amounts. After what our good friends in the southern end of San Pedro have had to go through more recently, I think we all need to consider them.

Most residents of the Palisades who would like to send their kids to the new high school annex in their neighborhood, won't be able to. They have lost a major route to and from their homes and businesses and now some 'foreign' agency wants to disrupt their lives and traffic with a system that doesn't benefit them is something that need much more pondering.

We need the new Outfall System. The clock are running down on the stability of the existing tunnels under Western and we have already have more than enough experiences of storm drains failing so much closer to the surface.

Let's build the Clearwater Program but let's do it being the best environmentally conscious and friendly to our neighbors as we can.

Now watch, Maybe tomorrow I'll find out that the E.I.R. for Ponte Vista is just about out. I've done those multi-E.I.R. reviews and one's eyes get tired with all that reading.