Opportunities for Public Service:
Next November, there are 132 opportunities to put environmental advocates into positions of leadership
in Placer County. Voters will elect 132 people to seats on a potpourri of Boards, Commissions and City Councils addressing everything from climate action to land use matters to school administration. Have you ever thought about volunteering for your community? How about making a career in public service and running for office? Email Jan Bell (email@example.com
) for info. on service opportunities and links to resources for your campaign. A course on how to run for puiblic office and plan your campaign begins on June 24 @ http://evite.me/TaSawf/ZuiY. This five part training is provided free of charge.
Project Updates and Accountability Investigations and More
Materials Recovery Facility:
As a member of the Western Waste Management Board’s Citizen Advisory Committee, AEL is providing comments on the Authority’s proposed industrial expansion into vernal pool wetlands surrounding the landfill. This industrial development would be within and in addition to the Sunset Area Plan’s industrialization plan which is currently facing a legal challenge by the Center for Biological Diversity. Placer County executed a Memorandum of Understanding with the WPWMA promising that public monies would be used to retrofit the landful (cost estimate $19 m) to address odor. The developer of Placer Ranch, the recently approved project located wholly within the land formerly known as the “smell buffer”, will pay $3 m toward the total cost – their “fair share”.
Placer County Conservation Plan (PCCP):
The proposed PCCP will allow development within a nearly 126,000 acre zone to mitigate adverse impacts to environmental resources through a fee system. Instead of avoiding or mitigating impacts to the environment on-site of the development, fees paid in-lieu would be used to buy or restore like-kind environmental resources in the PCCP. Comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) on the PCCP will be accepted until mid August. To review the FEIR contact firstname.lastname@example.org
and she will send you a CD of the document. AEL has not yet taken a position on the PCCP; although we did provide comments on the DEIR.
California State University (CSU) Follow-up:
A CSU will not be coming to Placer County. A “campus center” with limited course offerings was approved by the CSU Trustees. AEL is seeking information from CSU staff about this decision because 1) it is inconsistent with their own recently completed $4m campus development study and 2) the Placer Ranch/Sunset Area Plan economic analysis and EIR feasibility was predicated on a “full-blown” university attracting primary wage earner jobs. More info. on this to follow.
Accountability and Budget:
AEL provided extensive comments on the County’s 2020-2021 Budget related to the Litigation Project Expenses, Hidden Falls Expansion and the Sunset Area Plan/Placer Ranch Specific Plan. Our concerns relate to use of public funds on projects that benefit or subsidize private developers and projects; and how these funds will be recovered.
Go Fund Me:
AEL invites members and friends to support the Center for Biological Diversity’s (CBD) lawsuit that seeks to protect 7,000 acres of Placer County vernal pool wetland from urban sprawl. CBD is defending nearly 14 square miles of habitat that is home to 14 listed endangered species where the County of Placer approved a new auto-centric industrial city To support CBD, go to GoFundMe and donate at Alliance for Environmental Leadership. All proceeds benefit CBD’s urban lands conservation program!
Several major environmental documents circulated for public comment, and public hearings were held, during the isolation period for the COVID pandemic. It was heartening to see how effective AEL was in connecting groups with shared interests and through these connections, enabling a united and stronger public voice to be heard by officials and staff. Decisions on these important projects are forthcoming, but public comments are part of the public record which is significant in and of itself.
That’s a sample of our busy-selves here at AEL. We need your intellectual help and your financial support. Send tax deductible contributions to support our website and Enviro Events calendar to Planning and Conservation League Foundation (our fiscal sponsor) at 1107 9th Street, Suite 901, Sacramento, Ca 95814 and put AEL in the memo line.
Thank you all and wishes for your wellness in mind and body during these changing times.
Together we’re a stronger voice.
Leslie Warren, Chair
Alliance for Environmental Leadership