(4/2/13) – IE Transit Talking Points Short
The California State Legislature has some work to do to reform state environmental law. An April 1, 2013 court ruling on RCTC’s long-proposed Perris Valley Line Metrolink extension shows that Judge Sharon J. Waters ruled in favor of the opposing party on 5 of the 15 environmental concerns brought up in court: negations to the soil, track lubricant usage, pedestrian safety, train wheel noise pollution, and construction related noise. This leaves the Perris Valley Line case in a complicated position under the current law, but the legislature has the power to avert further delays caused by broad court rulings by changing the law:
- Are all environmentally sensitive soil areas and wildlife habitats throughout the state documented as protected nature reserves?
- Which types of rail lubricants harm the environment to the point that they should be outlawed?
- How much noise caused by train wheels is too much?
- How much construction noise is too much near residential areas? If a construction contractor generates too much noise, does local code enforcement have the power to fine the violating firm?