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ORANGE : Builder Curbs on Environment OKd

The City Council has approved a program to help ensure that developers fulfill promises to limit damage to the environment during construction.

The program is outlined in a booklet called the Mitigation Monitoring Program Manual, unanimously adopted by council members this week. The council also approved an ordinance that will make it a misdemeanor to sidestep the procedures.

The manual was developed in response to a 1989 state law requiring state and local agencies to monitor new developments and ensure that builders try to minimize damage to the environment.

“What this law says is that you not only have to require mitigation measures, you have to make sure they are implemented,” community planning administrator Vernon Jones said.

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City staff members spent more than six months developing the manual which will be distributed to developers and involved city employees, Jones said.

The new program means that city staff members will visit project sites more frequently and keep a closer watch on each step of development, Jones said.

“I think it’s going to be very effective,” he added, “But I’m not fooling myself into thinking we’ve worked out everything without having used it over a period of time.”


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