FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Nov. 10, 2014
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Joel Zlotnik, (714) 560-5713 , Eric Carpenter, (714) 560-5697
OCTA Seeks Public Feedback on Measure M Draft Conservation Plan
Community members can attend two open houses on Nov. 20 and Dec. 3 or view information online
ORANGE – The Orange County Transportation Authority is seeking input from the public through Feb. 6, on a conservation plan that seeks to protect natural habitat and rare animal and plant species in Orange County.
The conservation plan will be revised with public input before it heads to state and federal agencies for final approvals.
The plan, known as the Natural Community Conservation Plan/Habitat Conservation Plan/Master Streambed Alteration Agreement, is part of OCTA’s Measure M Freeway Environmental Mitigation Program.
The program allocates funds from Measure M, the county’s half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements, to acquire land and fund habitat restoration projects in exchange for streamlined approvals for 13 freeway improvement projects throughout Orange County.
So far, OCTA has acquired more than 1,100 acres of natural land – mostly in Trabuco Canyon and Brea – for the purpose of preserving it.
The purpose of the state and federal environmental review process is to:
- Outline the program objectives and biological goals of the Measure M freeway program
- Describe the proposed conservation actions and alternatives
- Study and evaluate potential environmental impacts resulting from the implementation of the conservation plan
- Identify potentially impacted species and how significant impacts could be mitigated
- Ensure that all state and federal laws are being followed.
A draft environmental impact report/environmental impact statement (DEIR/EIS) has been prepared for the conservation plan in compliance with state and federal laws and regulations. Comments received during the 90-day public comment period will be incorporated in the Final EIR/EIS.
Two public meetings will be held for the public to learn about the planning process and provide input:
- 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 20
600 S. Main Street
Orange, CA 92863
- 5 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 3
Rancho Santa Margarita City Hall
22112 El Paseo
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688
Information will also be available online at www.octa.net/ConservationPlan.
Comments or questions to be included in the final EIR can be emailed to Octa_nccp_hcp_comments@octa.net or sent by mail to:
Dan Phu, Section Manager
Orange County Transportation Authority
Attn: M2 NCCP/HCP
550 South Main Street
P.O. Box 14184
Orange, CA 92863-1584
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