Newhall Ranch EIR Expresses Worry Over Waste

Two government agencies released their final environmental report on the Newhall Ranch project Thursday, concluding that the proposed development in the western Santa Clarita Valley lacks sufficient trash-disposal resources and would have some negative environmental effects.

The report from the California Department of Fish and Game and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers marks the end of a nearly year-long study of Newhall Ranch.

The community planned by Newhall Land Development Inc., which has won a first round of approval from Los Angeles County, would span 12,000 acres from Interstate 5 to Ventura County, southof Highway 126; 8,000 of its acres would be open space.

The area owned by Newhall Land has traditionally been used for cattle ranching and oil drilling.

In addition to looking at the project’s impact on the environment, the report details the effects of Newhall Land’s proposed Newhall Ranch Resource Management and Development Plan and Spineflower Conservation Plan. These plans propose to conserve plants and wildlife in the project area.

An environmental study of the project found that Newhall Ranch would have significant and unavoidable impacts on air quality and biological resources, including the San Fernando Valley spineflower and a blue butterfly, as well as on agricultural resources.

The spineflower is a protected species that was once believed extinct.

The report also states that the county has not found a place to put the community’s future trash. Beyond 2020, no adequate supply of landfill space has been “definitively identified.”

The project would be able to lessen its impact on other endangered species and wildlife habitats, the report states.
Copies of the document are can be viewed at www.dfg.ca.gov/regions/5/newhall. Physical copies are at Valencia Library, 23743 West Valencia Blvd., and Castaic Library, 27971 Sloan Canyon Road.

The public comment period is open. Comments can be directed to Aaron O. Allen at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Ventura Field Office, 2151 Alessandro Drive, Suite 110, Ventura, CA, 93001. Comments can also be sent by fax to (805) 585-2154 or by e-mail to aaron.o.allen@usace.army.mil.

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