The Alameda Creek Alliance will be submitting a comprehensive request for records under the California Public Records Act today to Caltrans regarding phase 1 of the Niles Canyon highway widening project.
We will be requesting:
evidence of compliance (or non-compliance) with the conditions of their DFG 1600 permit and Regional Water Board permit that were required before construction activities;
evidence of notification of relevant stakeholders of the draft environmental review document, and of notification of commenting parties on the draft document of the approval of the final environmental review document;
evidence of Caltrans ownership of the land where project activities have occurred or will occur as part of phase 1, or evidence of landowner consent and easement for lands not owned by Caltrans
These records will help us determine whether there is any viable legal action that can be taken regarding phase 1 of the project. Some of the information will also be useful for public education and outreach to legislators.
We anticipate that we will try to get in to personally inspect these records (or lack thereof) early next week. If there are one or two other people we feel should come along to look at those records, let me know. We will make copies and make public any relevant information.
We have information that Caltrans may have violated condition 1 of their Regional Water Board permit, which requires that a signed agreement be in place for the off-site mitigation in Livermore before commencement of construction activities. The proposed Arroyo Mocho El Granada High School mitigation site fell through and they did not have a signed mitigation agreement before the tree cutting commenced, which it seems to us is part of “project construction.” We will get more info from Caltrans and the Water Board.
The SFPUC is investigating whether any of the tree cutting for phase 1 or future planned construction and tree-cutting was or will be on SFPUC land in the canyon. They were not notified of the project nor did they give consent to cut on SFPUC lands. We hopefully will know whether or not this occurred early next week.
I cannot make the protest in the canyon this weekend – I hope the turnout is good and thank you to everyone helping to keep the spotlight on this issue. Great turnout Wednesday, let’s get even more people to the evening meeting.
A pitch for money. Our lawyer is costing us $ regardless of whether we bring a legal challenge to phase 1. We also may end up challenging phase 2, and we could use any donations to the Alameda Creek Alliance to help us offset the costs of fighting this project.
Alameda Creek Alliance
Financial Support for the Public Initiative to Save Niles Canyon
Note from Save Niles Canyon:
So that your donation can be properly documented and be tax-deductible, we encourage you to donate to the Alameda Creek Alliance. You can mail your check to the alliance at P.O. Box 2626, Niles, CA 94536.
If you want to become a member of the alliance, their website is at http://www.alamedacreek.org/ go to the Join/Volunteer page. We suggest you make a note on any check, cover letter, or membership form that you are donating on behalf of the SNC effort. We appreciate your support in any way possible.