SMW’s Lawsuit to Protect Anza Borrego State Park Featured in Press

SMW represents the Sierra Club in a case filed on March 7, 2012 regarding Riverside County's recent approval of the Travertine Point project.  This project involves a proposed new town along the Salton Sea that would include 16,655 houses and apartments and more than 5 million square feet of commercial space spread across 5,000 acres. The town would be located adjacent to sensitive wilderness areas of Anza Borrego Desert State Park and Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument.  Despite its adjacency to park lands, the County failed to develop a credible plan to prevent the new residents from harming off-site wildlife and irreplaceable cultural artifacts on the park lands.  In addition, the project's population of 40,000 people would be located in an isolated area devoid of jobs, causing people to travel long distances for work and services and thereby significantly increasing greenhouse gas emissions.

The lawsuit alleges that the County failed to take a hard look at the actual impacts of the project, instead relying on optimistic and unsupportable assumptions that understated the project's true impacts on wildlife, park lands, traffic and air quality.  As a result, the County failed to mitigate the full extent of these impacts, as required by law.