Numerous requests for more time to dig through the copious layers of information to make comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Report has prompted the California Department of Fish and Game and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District to extend the public review period to August 25.
The agencies agreed to extend the review period after hearing from citizens via written comments/requests and at a public hearing in Valencia on June 11. The public review period for the document, which began April 27, was to end June 26. The extension means the agencies will accept written public comments on the report until August 25.
"We heard from the people and understand the reason for their request for an extension," said Aaron Allen, regulatory project manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District. "The document is detailed and comprehensive, and the extension will help facilitate meaningful review of the proposed project and the related permit applications."
"The document is very large," said Jay Field, public information officer for the Corps of Engineers. "Some of the people who wanted to provide comment have full-time jobs and requested more time to make a meaningful comment."
The agencies prepared the Draft EIS/EIR to consider Newhall Land and Farming Company's request for federal and state permits, agreements and authorizations to implement the Newhall Ranch RMDP and SCP. The plans are for the proposed management of sensitive biological resources and would be used to make permit decisions before the company implements infrastructure improvements and maintenance activities.
"We encourage public input during this extended review period," said Ed Pert, South Coast Regional Manager for Fish and Game. "The public can and should play an important role in the decision-making process."
Written comments can be sent to:
California Department of Fish and Game U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Newhall Ranch EIS/EIR Project Comments Ventura Field Office
c/o Dennis Bedford Attn: Aaron Allen
4949 Viewridge Ave. 2151 Alessandro Dr., Ste. 110
San Diego, CA 92123 Ventura, CA 93001
Fax: (858) 467-4203 Fax: (805) 585-2154
Copies of the Draft EIS/EIR are available for public review at the following locations:
Valencia Library, 23743 W. Valencia Blvd., Santa Clarita, CA 91355
Sylmar Library, 14561 Polk St., Sylmar, CA 91342
Ventura H.P. Wright Library, 57 Day Rd., Ventura, CA 93003
Castaic Library, 27971 Sloan Canyon Rd., Castaic, CA 91384
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and DFG are the lead agencies under the National Environmental Policy Act and the California Environmental Quality Act, respectively.