Big Dig Court Hearing Continues Oct. 15

The Arroyo Seco Foundation and Pasadena Audubon Society will continue their negotiations with the Los Angeles County Flood Control District over the controversial Devil’s Gate Dam project in the aftermath of a judge’s ruling regarding the nonprofit groups’ December 2017 lawsuit over the so-called Big Dig.
A judge made the decision for the two sides to continue negotiations on Tuesday. They are scheduled to meet again at 1:30 p.m., Oct. 15, in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom.
Both organizations have sued over the environmental impact report for the project. They state the reduction of the scope of the operation from 2.4 million cubic yards to 1.7 million did not consider if new or additional mitigation measures are needed to reduce the impact on nearby habitat, the types of trucks that are used, air quality or dust issues.
Unless there’s an agreement, it is possible a judge could force the county to stop the project while they recirculate an environmental impact report with modifications to the project, a county official said.
“We arranged to postpone the hearing until Oct. 15,” said Tim Brick, managing director of the Arroyo Seco Foundation. “We agreed in advance that we were making a lot of progress on the settlement discussion. We’ll continue to finalize the settlement agreement.”
Brick said he could not get into specifics about the settlement, but in general, it was about “immediate operational issues,” including noise, dust, air pollution, the size of the area to be excavated and the long-term treatment of the basin after the project is completed.
“We want to get it done,” Brick said. “It’s going to be a written document with detailed instructions. We were very encouraged by the county’s response to our settlement offer, and I think that we have the basis for an agreement.”
Officials have said the county-supervised project, which began its first phase last November, will eventually include up to 425 daily round-trips by some 95 diesel trucks through the intersection at Berkshire Place and Oak Grove Drive and onto the 210 Freeway.
At a recent July 25 Joint-Use Committee meeting with the La Cañada Unified School District Governing Board and LCF City Council officials, it was announced that a study session about the Big Dig involving the council would occur.
The study session is set to take place at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6, at City Hall with a presentation from a parents group that includes LCF 4 Healthy Air co-founder Elizabeth Krider. The organization is a group of local residents who aim to reduce safety and health hazards to the community.
Additionally, Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Capt. Todd Deeds said a sheriff’s department official will remain at Berkshire Place and Oak Grove Drive near La Cañada High School to make sure kids are safe when school starts.
Those who wish to give feedback about the project can visit dpw.lacounty.gov/swe/devilsgate, email devilsgateproject@pw.lacounty.gov or call (626) 458-2507.

Leave a Reply