On May 10, my colleague, Democrat Rep. Susan Davis from San Diego, offered an amendment to restore the application of state law to the SR241 highway project, which is planned to go through U.S. Marine base Camp Pendleton and through San Onofre State Park, which is located on base property. Much of what has been said of this amendment and my vote on it is ill-informed. The amendment did not “kill” the SR241 extension. It merely removed language that exempted the project from the jurisdiction of state law. Nor does this amendment take authority away from the secretary of the Navy to grant easements. As a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, I feel confident the secretary knows what is best for the security of Camp Pendleton.I have not taken a position against the toll road [“Sanchez betrayed O.C. on toll road,” The Orange Grove, May 11]. In fact, I have been supportive of other similar construction projects, such as the 73, which has been of benefit to county residents and was built with sensitivity to environmental concerns.Ã‚Â
What concerns me is that the SR241 be constructed with the same care and attention as these other projects. As the law stands now, it permits the “recipient of the easement to construct, operate and maintain [the highway], notwithstanding any provision of state law to the contrary.” If the Davis amendment is adopted it means that the impact on the environment will be fully reviewed, and labor will be paid according to prevailing wage law.
I have been told that those involved with the construction of SR241 have observed every state law that applies. If that is the case, then the Davis amendment will have no effect. There is a concern that future state laws will prevent construction of the road for one reason or the other. I share that concern. I remain vigilant so that Orange County can determine which roads are built in our community. Our democratic process will lead to the best solution.
– Loretta Sanchez of Garden Grove U.S. representative, 47th District.