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LOCAL : Tustin Group Wins Tollway Study

<i> From Times staff and wire service reports </i>

The agency overseeing planning for the Eastern tollway has agreed to conduct new noise and air quality studies in the Peters Canyon area in order to settle a homeowners’ environmental lawsuit against the planned traffic project.

Filed in July by the Tustin Hills Homeowners Coalition, the lawsuit alleged that the environmental impact report approved by the Board of Supervisors last year was inadequate because it did not detail homeowners’ exposure to expected increases in noise and air pollution once the tollway is open to traffic in the mid- to late 1990s.

The Foothill-Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency, which is supervising the tollway project, and the homeowners group have accepted the terms of the settlement, but county officials are still processing the paper work and have not approved it, according to Donna Stubbs, the corridor agency’s spokeswoman.

Under terms of the settlement, neither the county nor the corridor agency admits any wrongdoing, but they agree to pay for the new noise and air quality studies aimed at comparing existing noise and air pollution levels with what will occur once the tollway opens--using worst-case traffic scenarios.

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