Follow-up on the news


District to Study Waste Water Project

Issue: A two-year demonstration project by the Irvine Ranch Water District to test the feasibility of discharging treated waste water through the San Joaquin Marsh into the San Diego Creek. The project is supposed to create a stable water supply for the San Joaquin Marsh wetlands.

Background: The water district board voted in December to draft an environmental impact report on the Wetlands Water Supply Project after some residents voiced concerns about the potential for a buildup of nitrates in the Upper Newport Bay. The water district project would send treated waste water from the Michelson Water Reclamation Plant through ponds in the San Joaquin Marsh to the San Diego Creek.

Development: The Irvine Ranch Water District board recently awarded a $77,000 contract to CH2M Hill, a Santa Ana-based environmental consulting firm, to prepare an environmental impact report on the proposed project. Completion of a draft report is expected in April, with a final environmental impact report to come before the board in July.



Seapoint Street Extension Gets OK

Issue: Extension of Seapoint Street

Background: Residents have opposed a city plan to extend the road 400 feet between Palm Avenue and Pacific Coast Highway. Residents said the extension would increase local traffic and noise.

Update: The City Council this month voted 4 to 2 to approve the extension. The council majority favors the extension to improve police and fire access to the area, and to provide another route for resident evacuation.

Councilmen Dave Sullivan and Tom Harman dissented, saying the change would adversely affect residents' quality of life. Sullivan said he favored gating the road so access is limited to public safety vehicles only.

Public works officials said the $1.5-million road extension, paid for with developer fees, is expected to be completed by mid-June.



OCTA Asked to Help Ease Train Noise

Issue: Train noise along Northfield Avenue

Background: Residents have been pressuring the City Council for more than a year to build a sound wall along the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe railway line to protect their neighborhood from extreme train noise. Residents argue primary responsibility for mitigating train noise rests with city, but city officials say it is a regional problem.

Update: The City Council is trying to enlist county and state transportation agencies in resolving the problem.

The council voted 5 to 0 this month to request the Orange County Transportation Authority "encourage" the California Transportation Commission to develop guidelines for sound-wall installations along railroads.


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