For years, NRDC and our coalition partners have been fighting the Orange County Transportation Corridor Agencies’ (TCA) efforts to build the 16-mile Foothill-South Toll Road through San Onofre State Beach. This beloved state park draws more than 2.4 million visitors each year and includes Trestles Beach, a renowned surf spot that the state Historical Resources Commission recently agreed should be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The park is home to eleven threatened or endangered species and contains significant portions of San Mateo Creek, one of the last unspoiled watersheds in southern California.
In 2008, after record-setting hearings where NRDC, our coalition partners, and thousands of activists turned out to denounce the toll road, both the California Coastal Commission and the Bush administration rejected the highway project because of potentially devastating impacts to the coastline.
Some observers figured the toll road was dead. They were wrong.
TCA is now trying to revive the “zombie road” by building it in segments, instead of all sixteen miles at once. The problem is that this “segmentation” approach is illegal under both state and federal law. As my colleague Joel Reynolds pointed out when TCA announced its plan a little over a year ago, this is simply a ploy by TCA to circumvent the Coastal Commission and Department of Commerce decisions and build the entire road through San Onofre.
To kick off its illegal plan, TCA has applied to the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board for a key permit for the first five-mile segment of the road. We and our partners in the Save San Onofre Coalition have submitted numerous comment letters and are gearing up for a big hearing before the water board next week in Costa Mesa.
We need your help! Tell the water board to reject TCA’s efforts to push through this disastrous highway proposal. If you live in southern California, come to the water board hearing next Wednesday, March 13th, at 9:00 a.m. and speak out against the toll road. The hearing will be held at the Costa Mesa City Council Chambers, 77 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. The full meeting agenda can be found here.
March 13th, 9:00 AM
Costa Mesa City Council Chambers
77 Fair Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
If you don’t live in southern California, you can help our cause by sending a personal message to the water board. Click here to take action.
Please make your voice heard! Tell your friends and let’s send a clear message that this zombie road needs to be killed once again.
Photo credit: Pamela Marches