Supes approve JWA EIR contracts

The Orange County Board of Supervisors approved contracts this week for companies to conduct environmental impact reports related to a proposed extension of the John Wayne Airport settlement agreement.

No objections were made on the issue during the supervisors' Tuesday meeting, clearing the way for the companies to move forward with their analyses, said airport spokeswoman Jenny Wedge. The Orange County Airport Commission had approved the contracts in a vote the week prior.

The reports are needed to amend the agreement, which outlines passenger caps and aircraft takeoffs at JWA. The agreement, made between the county, the city of Newport Beach, and two community groups, will expire in 2015 if not renewed through this amendment process.

The proposed agreement would phase in allowances of up to 12.5 million annual passengers by 2030. The current agreement limits the number of annual passengers to 10.8 million.

Five companies will review the potential environmental impact from a proposed agreement update set forth earlier this year by the city and community groups. Three alternatives to that proposed agreement will also be considered by the companies.

Environ International Corp., Fehr & Peers, AECOM, Landrum & Brown, and BonTerra Consulting will each analyze a different aspect of the possible effects. They will look at air quality, traffic and circulation, aviation, noise, and environmental impact preparation, respectively.

The city of Newport Beach and JWA will split the nearly $1 million cost to fund the studies. The five companies will issue a notice of preparation in October to let interested parties know the description and location of the project, according to a news release Thursday.

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