Orange County moves forward with an innovative program that mitigates environmental impacts while helping expedite M2 freeway projects.
Measure M’s environmental programs enable OCTA to make significant contributions toward wildlife and habitat preservation and water quality improvements while moving transportation forward. The Freeway Environmental Mitigation Program funds open space acquisition and natural habitat restoration in exchange for streamlined approvals for Measure M freeway improvement projects while the Environmental Cleanup Program improves water quality from transportation-generated pollution.
Conservation and stewardship
Under the Mitigation Program, OCTA purchased five properties totaling more than 950 acres since 2011. To date, OCTA has funded 11 restoration projects, restoring close to 400 acres of land back to its native habitat.
Developed conservation plan
Throughout the fiscal year, OCTA developed a draft conservation plan to comply with state and federal requirements that identifies ways to protect habitats and species on OCTA’s open space properties. Property management plans were created to guide the stewardship and operations of each preserve. Drafts are scheduled to be released for public review in early 2014.
Improving water quality
Last year, OCTA awarded $2.76 million in Cleanup Program funds to 25 cities plus the County of Orange to upgrade existing storm drain screens, filters, inserts and other streetscale low-flow diversion projects. During fiscal year 2012-2013, OCTA awarded $12.71 million to eight capital intensive water quality improvement projects. PROJECT X