We filed the suit in February, under the California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA, which the Planning and Conservation League calls the state’s “premier environmental law” and a “powerful tool for public participation.” The suit charges that the Discovery Center Authority failed to meet its legal obligations under CEQA and the Seismic Hazards Mapping Act when it certified an inadequate final environmental impact report and approved the project.
The authority’s own records show that meetings, VIP tours and special events aimed at water district executives and government officials make up the vast majority of new programming for the $22 million taxpayer-funded facility.CEQA violations cited in the suit include the authority’s failure to fully disclose and evaluate the environmental harm the proposed water museum and meeting center and its sprawling compound of structures would cause. The suit also charges that the authority ignored the project’s public safety impacts from seismic hazards and failed to prepare a feasible, funded and legally enforceable plan to mitigate the project’s adverse environmental impacts.
The authority has relentlessly marketed and greenwashed the Discovery Center as an environmental project for more than a decade, yet it has done little or nothing in that same period of time to preserve or restore habitat at the natural area or to enhance existing educational programs there. And the authority’s own records show that meetings, VIP tours and special events aimed at water district executives and government officials make up the vast majority of new programming planned for the $22 million taxpayer-funded facility.
For more information on our organization, the Friends of the Whittier Narrows Natural Area, and our efforts to protect an important community resource, please see the following links: