SCOPE Blog: Some Talking Points for Newhall Ranch Comment Letters

Published by Lynne Plambeck on

  • Houses should not be built over a closed oil field (Mission Village). There is too great a chance that airborne VOCs will leak up into the homes.
  • The exclusion of a traffic chapter make the supplemental document inadequate because traffic has greatly increased since the 2007 review was released and new projects have been approved. A chapter updating the traffic analysis should be added.
  • Controlling greenhouse gases and traffic congestion are intimately related.  Traffic congestion in the Santa Clarita area is already over the top and will only get worse if Landmark Village and Mission Village are built as planned.  It is necessary to consider these two factors together and absolutely ensure no net increase in GHG for these projects.
  • The promise of zero GHGs sounds good on paper but the enforcement reality is lacking:

There are no safeguards to track the future offsets that will need to be bought;

Will the offsets actually exist to be bought?  Will enough offsets be available?

Who will assure that the offsets are actually bought?

Who will assure that the offsets are actually effective to offset the amount of GHGs needed to be offset?

How will the use of electric cars be monitored and enforced in order to gauge if the touted GHG reductions actually occur?

All these assurances need to be codified as enforceable mitigation measures.

The project is still too big and impactful to the Valley and flies in the face of 21st century smart planning – it needs to be significantly scaled back and away from the Santa Clara River.

  • Where’s the analysis of the methane that will be generated from trash created by this massive project, what about emissions from trash truck – the GHG analysis in not sufficient
  • The severe water cutbacks required in the SCV in the last six years are new information showing that we cannot accommodate this massive project with our current water resources. That water table dropped 70 feet and several wells went dry.
  • There have been a lot of articles about how offsets are often a green washing scam. What guarantee do we have that the offsets being purchased as GHG mitigation will result in measurable, provable, reductions in GHG emissions beyond what would have otherwise occurred?
  • Mitigation for GHG that is proposed to be bought as pollution credits in other countries is unenforceable and unverifiable. AND it will not help our local air pollution problems.
  • No mention or itemization of the external creators of GHG for this project, like methane from waste disposal, energy production for water delivery and desalination of waste water, off site energy production for infrastructure, auto and truck deliveries and other uses is not in the Environmental document because those chapters are excluded from the document. These issues must be discussed in order for the document to be valid.
  • Our Valley is already out of federal compliance for dust pollution (PM10 and PM mil) that causes asthma and permanent lung damage and affects our children’s health. Filling the flood plain with 200 million cubic yards of dirt will substantially add to this pollution.
  • To protect the river water quality and the endangered fish, the project should be moved away from the Santa Clara River. Filling the floodplain with 200 million cubic yards of dirt hurts water replenishment and will massively add to dust pollution in the Santa Clarita Valley.
  • There should be a .25 mile buffer around the spine flower preserves to protect this endangered flower. The proposed endowment is not sufficient to provide protection. We see what has happened in the valley oaks Savannah (SEA 64 – no trails as promised, inadequate management to preserve the oaks, oaks dying)
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