SBD/June 4, 2012/Facilities

AEG Under Attack For Environmental Plans For Proposed Farmers Field Project

The NRDC supported a bill that eliminated one level of court review for Farmers Field
The Natural Resources Defense Council last September did AEG “a big favor by throwing its weight behind a gift bill streamlining the environmental review process” for the company's proposed Farmer's Field project, "and only for the stadium project," according to Michael Hiltzik of the L.A. TIMES. Hiltzik wrote in a column under the header, “An Eco-stadium? Promises, Promises,” adding the NRDC “now feels it did not get what it wanted.” The bill “eliminated one whole level of court review otherwise provided for by the California Environmental Quality Act.” The NRDC's involvement in the stadium project “grows out of its interest in promoting mass transit and energy efficiency in urban communities, and therefore in seeing that the stadium be ‘green’ in its construction and operational phases, and not encourage more automobile traffic.” The NRDC said that it “had negotiated several safeguards" into the bill, including "the commitments from AEG.” NRDC Senior Attorney David Pettit earlier this month in a letter to the city said that the draft EIR submitted by AEG for the stadium project "lacks numerous commitments the builders had made to the group.” Studies that AEG “promised to conduct of alternatives to bringing fans to the stadium by car were missing.” Promises AEG made to the Clinton Global Initiative were “mysteriously scaled back." The NRDC said that AEG "told the Clinton group it would recycle 90% of solid waste produced during construction," but the draft report "promises only 50%.” The NRDC in the letter wrote, "We also have concerns about air quality, health risk, green construction practices and sustainability relating to the project." Both AEG and the NRDC said that the dispute is “amicable and may yet be resolved without ugliness, sounding like some divorcing couples resolved to remain friends for the sake of the kids.” AEG said that it is “as committed to environmental mitigation as ever at the future site of Farmer's Field, but that it's simply premature to write into the impact report some of the specifics the NRDC expected to see there.” Both sides said that they “will be sitting down before a mediator as early as this week” (L.A. TIMES, 6/3).
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