20 January 2017

CV Link and the Environment, part 2

This post is part of a series, CV Link and the Environment. For additional information, read these other posts:

Impacts and Mitigations

The EIR has 36 pages of impacts and their mitigations presented in a table. While the rest of the document provides more detail, this table succinctly discusses each main consideration. The discussion covers sixteen areas:
No issues are "Significant and unavoidable" (the worst case); 24 issues are "potentially significant." These require a variety of mitigations. Another 42 issues are "less than significant," for which no mitigation is required. The linked posts list only the 24 issues that require mitigation.

* No "potentially significant" impacts found.

What is an Environmental Impact?

The study has five levels of environmental impacts.
  1. Significant and unavoidable
    Those impacts that may create a significant adverse change in the environment.
  2. Potentially significant
    Those impacts that may create a significant adverse change in the environment, but whose changes can be managed by certain mitigation measures.
  3. Less than significant
    Those impacts that can be reduced to an acceptable or insignificant level through mitigation measures.
  4. No impact 
    Those conditions that do not impact the environment.
  5. Area of controversy
    I cop to not certainly understanding what the study means by the definition: "There are no known areas of controversy in the project’s physical characteristics that are not resolved by project design, development management and operation, mitigation measures or standard on-going monitoring." I believe the intent is to say that the project's designers have considered all possible controversy and incorporated responses as the design developed.

What is a Mitigation?

Wikipedia defines mitigation thoroughly. Environmental mitigation is a debit-credit system that balances destruction or impairment of a natural resource with actions or features that improve or preserve a natural resource. When a business or project has a "debit," it is required to purchase or provide a "credit." Crediting systems can generate credits in different ways. Mitigation is a more development-friendly alternative to strict environmental laws because it allows development to occur where environmental laws might prohibit it.

What is CV Link?

CV Link is a 50-mile non-motorized, multi-modal transportation path that passes through the developed and populated portions of the Coachella Valley. CV Link provides access and connectivity between residential, commercial, recreational, institutional, and other land uses throughout the region and provides simultaneously recreational opportunities for pathway users. The Link reduces local traffic volumes on roadways, lowers overall air pollution, increases safety for non-motorized vehicles, and builds a sense of community among all parts of the Coachella Valley. In longterm view, CV Link affords connection to other alternative transportation in Southern California, including existing networks in the Cities of Riverside and Redlands and the Santa Ana River Corridor and potential networks in the High Desert Cities and along the Palms to Pines Highway.

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