Folsom challenges Mather decision
Days after Sacramento County filed a Notice of Determination to move forward with the expansion of Mather Airport’s air cargo operations, the city of Folsom said, “Not so fast.”
Citing several California Environmental Quality Act violations, including an assertion that the project was approved and the NOD filed before all environmental findings were considered, Folsom assistant city attorney Steven Wang wrote a three-page letter dated Aug. 21 to the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors and county staff.
“The filing of the NOD was premature and unlawful,” it reads. “The City of Folsom strongly urges the county to reverse its action taken on August 12, 2014, with respect to the project, allow the public a true and fair process under CEQA, instruct staff not to pre-commit to a predetermined outcome and follow all legal requirements in an open, fair, objective and transparent manner.”
The Sacramento Board of Supervisors will revisit the item at their next public meeting Aug. 26 when they’re asked to adopt the project’s Statement of Overriding Considerations.
Further in Wang’s letter it states, “The city further urges the board to vote to deny the project at its Aug. 26 meeting (or thereafter), or, in the alternative, require county staff to perform a fiscal feasibility study between the costs of having air cargo operation at Sacramento International Airport versus Mather, include Sacramento International Airport as a feasible alternative for consideration in the EIR, or consider a scaled down project by removing the CAT III ILS system from the project.”
Folsom resident and vocal dissenter of the project Bill Bryant, wanted to clarify pieces of the project will not necessarily be approved piecemeal in the future as staff stated at the Aug. 12 meeting. “That would be superfluous because not all projects will need Board of Supervisor approval (recall airport staff purchased the Cat III ILS system without needing BOS approval). Once the Master Plan is approved, all airport staff has to say is that they are ‘merely’ implementing what the approved plan says they need to do, and the BOS is likely to say the same, and then simply rubberstamp the projects.
“We’re getting a rare opportunity of being able to take another shot at it,” continued Bryant.
The hearing will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 26, at 2 p.m. in the Sacramento County Administration Building, Board of Supervisors Chambers, 700 H St., Room 1450.