Los Angeles County, Inglewood and Culver City filed a joint lawsuit, and Alliance for a Regional Solution to Airport Congestion (ARSAC) — a Playa del Rey nonprofit organization — filed a separate suit to stop the $11 billion Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) master plan.
The lawsuits were filed against the City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Mayor Jim Hahn, the Los Angeles City Council, Los Angeles World Airports — the City of Los Angeles entity that operates the city’s four airports — and the City of Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners.
The ARSAC lawsuit also names the California Coastal Commission for “approval of encroachments into the protected habitat of several threatened and endangered species.”
The suits were filed Thursday, January 6th, three days after the City of El Segundo had filed a similar lawsuit.
The lawsuits filed in Los Angeles Superior Court are asking the court to block all construction at LAX until the City of Los Angeles has fully complied with the law.
The lawsuits contend that the city’s environmental impact report (EIR) for LAX doesn’t comply with CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) because the EIR:
– uses an outdated, inappropriate baseline from 1996;
– fails to disclose and obscures the project’s capacity-enhancing objectives;
– fails to adequately disclose and analyze adverse impacts, such as air emissions, flyaway terminal impacts, traffic and related impacts from the proposed ground transportation center, and potential noise impacts; and
– doesn’t provide adequate mitigation measures and fails to explore reasonable alternatives to the project.
“The county’s lawsuit is a placeholder if negotiations with the City of Los Angeles fail,” said County Supervisor Don Knabe, whose district includes LAX.
Knabe said that if the city doesn’t agree to a “binding and enforceable agreement to cap growth at LAX to 78 million annual passengers and eliminate Manchester Square as the proposed ground transportation center, the county is prepared to move forward with litigation.”
“This process has been a sham from the beginning,” said Val Velasco, ARSAC president.
Velasco contends that ARSAC efforts to provide a genuine consensus plan acceptable to both the communities and the airlines has been completely rejected by city officials.
In addition, requests for less negative impacts on the airport’s neighbors have been ignored, and “we are forced to take the issue to court,” Velasco said.