Transportation Feed

Federal Judge Rules Caltrans Violated Environmental Law on Highway 1 Plan

S.F. Chronicle Story

PH1A Release

CBS/KPIX Story

CBD Release

Caltrans violated the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in its proposal to widen Highway 1. The sin of omission! Now Caltrans may give up on the widening project altogether. See the news video at the CBS/KPIX link above.

7 quarry pristine JPEGBob Pilgrim

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Caltrans Caulks Bay Bridge Leaks

S.F. Gate Story

Caltrans says it has stopped some 90 percent of water leaks causing corrosion into the east span of the east span of the Bay Bridge -- with $100,000 worth of industrial-grade caulk to the joint between the asphalt road surface and the guardrails. Lisa Fulton, a Berkeley corrosion expert, said she is encouraged that Caltrans appears to have gotten a handle on the water problem. “Maybe they got something right this time — but we will have to wait and see.” (See the full story at the link above.)


Highway 1 Widening Case: PSC Advances Caltrans Challenge

In the Pacificans for a Scenic Coast (PSC) challenge to Caltrans’ highway widening EIR, San Mateo Superior Court Judge Weiner has not issued a final decision. Recently, PSC notified Judge Weiner of a new California Supreme Court decision that is relevant to this case. The new California Supreme Court decision is Center For Biological Diversity v. California Department Of Fish And Wildlife (Newhall Land And Farming Company), 62 Cal.4th 204 (2015) (“Newhall”). Judge Weiner has ordered PSC and defendants to file supplemental 10-page briefs in January 2016 regarding this new decision and how it affects the issues in PSC's case.

PSC believes that the Newhall decision is relevant to PSC’s claim that Caltrans violated the law by certifying an EIR, which failed to consider, or determine the significance of, greenhouse gas emission impacts when the EIR impermissibly claimed any determination of the significance of greenhouse gas emission impacts were “too speculative.”

In addition, the California Supreme Court in Newhall recognized that “fully protected species” are subject to stricter prohibitions under the Fish and Game Code than provided under the Endangered Species Act, and that any “take” (i.e., killing or capturing) of fully protected species is against the law. The San Francisco garter snake is a fully protected species present on and around the Caltrans proposed widening project. PSC believes the Newhall decision is relevant to its argument that the EIR was legally inadequate because it did not disclose that the snake is a fully protected species for which any take is prohibited. The PSC notice and Judge Weiner's order are at the links below:

2nd Notice of New Authority SENT

Trial Order 2 Dec 17 2015