Caltrans Begins Environmental Review Phase of the South County Traffic Relief Effort

Santa Ana, Calif. - November 8, 2019

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), in partnership with the Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency (F/ETCA), is initiating the preparation of an Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) for the South County Traffic Relief Effort. This begins with the public scoping process, which is to garner public input on the proposed project’s preliminary Purpose and Need and the current range of preliminary alternatives to be studied. Caltrans is the lead agency for the proposed project under the California Environmental Quality Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. A map of the preliminary alternatives can be viewed here.

“As Caltrans and our local partners work together to find meaningful solutions to our mobility challenges in Orange County, public engagement and input are critical. With the beginning of the public scoping process, the public will have another opportunity to take part in developing solutions to improve mobility in South Orange County,” said Caltrans Orange County Director Ryan Chamberlain. “Community feedback will be an important element of our decision-making process as the proposed alternatives are studied in more detail.” 

The public will have 30 days (November 8 through December 9, 2019) to review and provide comments. Two meetings to provide opportunity for community engagement have been scheduled. These meetings will be held in an open house style format with no formal presentation, so attendees may arrive at any time during the event hours. The locations are as follows: 

  • November 20, 2019 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Norman P. Murray Community and Senior Center located at 24932 Veterans Way, Mission Viejo, CA 92692. 
  • December 4, 2019 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Ocean Institute located at 24200 Dana Point Harbor Dr, Dana Point, CA 92629. 

Public comments will be accepted at both meetings as well as online at www.sctre.org and via email at scoping@sctre.org. Comments can also be mailed to the following address:

  • Caltrans District 12, 1750 East 4th Street, Santa Ana, CA 92705, Attn: Env/SCTRE Scoping.

The opportunity for the public to comment during the period will conclude at 5:00 p.m. on December 9, 2019. At the public meetings, there will be an opportunity for the public to comment verbally to a court reporter and in writing.

“Traffic congestion is a problem in South Orange County, particularly during peak commuting hours and on weekends,” said F/ETCA Chairwoman Christina Shea. “Our Board and staff are committed to working collaboratively with transportation agencies at the federal, state and local levels as well as our local cities and communities to consider transportation improvement solutions that will improve mobility, while minimizing impacts to existing communities and the environment.”

The EIR/EIS phase will begin by inviting the public to participate in this public process and submit comments in person, online or through the mail regarding alternatives that should be considered and environmental impacts that should be studied during preparation of the environmental document

Your voice and opinion matter in how this project will proceed; we look forward to hearing from you. Upon completion of this scoping process, Caltrans will prepare the Draft EIR/EIS for public review and comment. It is anticipated that the Draft EIR/EIS will be available for public review in 2023.

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