Southern California environment news and trends

Song of the Week: Beastie Boys' 'Negotiation Limerick File,' for Farmers Field mediation


This is AEG's rendering of what the Los Angeles Convention Center could look like after Farmers Field is built.

Twenty groups that offered comments on the draft environmental impact report for Farmers Field have used their prerogative under SB 292 to request mediation with the city and with AEG about it. That mediation's already underway. Kind of interesting: this isn't something that CEQA normally provides. This is part of the hurry-up of SB 292. "Within five days following the close of the public comment period, a commenter on the draft environmental impact report may submit to the lead agency a written request for nonbinding mediation," the law says. Starting now, and ending "no later than 35 days after the close of the public comment period." 

Mediation for Farmers Field is meant to head off litigation. "A commenter who agrees to a measure pursuant to this subparagraph shall not raise the issue addressed by that measure as a basis for a petition for writ of mandate challenging the lead agency's decision to certify the environmental impact report or to grant one or more initial project approvals," says the law. 


What Farmers Field's environmental goals really are, and what they really mean

Clinton Global Initiative Addresses Issues Of Worldwide Concern

Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images for AEG

American businessman Steve Bing, President and CEO of AEG Timothy J. Leiweke, former U.S. President Bill Clinton and Casey Wasserman pose for a photograph during the seventh Annual Meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City.

As of 4 o’clock, all the comments have been submitted concerning the draft environmental impact report for Farmers Field. It’ll be interesting to see how the city planning office responds to some of the criticisms leveled publicly, at meetings in recent weeks, and via letter.

Among them are complaints that AEG hasn’t explained how it will achieve the goals created by SB 292 for fewer car trips and carbon neutrality at the proposed downtown football stadium.

For what they’re worth, AEG made another set of promises too. While it was drumming up public and political support for Farmers Field plans, AEG announced it entered into a set of commitments with the Clinton Global Initiative. What does that mean? According to the Initiative itself:

Commitments help CGI members translate practical goals into meaningful and measurable results. CGI works with each member to develop an achievable plan, and members report back on the progress they make over time.

Since CGI was founded in 2005, our members have made more than 2,100 commitments, which are already improving the lives of nearly 400 million people in more than 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at $69.2 billion.


The NFL: all this and eco-conscious, too

Tebow gets 316 yards

Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow (15) celebrates after beating the Pittsburgh Steelers 29-23 in overtime of an NFL wild card playoff football game Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012, in Denver.

With the entire football nation still upside down and giddy like schoolgirls after Tim Tebow lead the Denver Broncos to victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers this past weekend in the NFL Wildcard playoff game, it’s easy to see why professional football is America’s most popular sport, and by a country mile.

Watching the magnificent spectacle unfold on TV, it’s hard to miss the significant environmental impact of a professional football game. Those glorious overhead blimp shots of the stadium also show the oceans of automobiles used to get all of those people to the game, for starters. It’s a palpable strain on any host city’s infrastructure; one that Los Angeles will feel firsthand with the planned Farmer’s Field in downtown, to be home to an NFL team to be named later. (To offset that impact, developers AEG are making a multitude of moves to make it the “greenest” stadium in the country).