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Committees for Land, Air, Water and Species (CLAWS)

The mission of the Committees for Land, Air, Water and Species is to advocate to protect natural resources, cultural heritage, environmental and social justice, benefiting all residents, human or otherwise, of the Central Coast 

CLAWS is a bold advocate for social and environmental justice on the Central Coast

  • Featured post

    Judge Rejects 101 Widening Project EIR

      JUDGE REJECTS 101 WIDENING PROJECT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT Committees for Land, Air, Water and Species The $435M 101 Widening Project is the largest public works project in recent County history, and will have a significant impact on the future face of the South Coast. Caltrans prepared an EIR that concluded there would be no significant impacts from the project, thus there was no need to avoid or mitigate the project’s impacts. Caltrans’ own traffic studies, however, found that the project would directly cause excessive congestion at nine intersections and cumulatively impact fifteen intersections from Carpinteria to Goleta. This project-induced congestion would exceeds Caltrans’ own thresholds of significance for the identification of significant impacts, and yet Caltrans failed to address the issue in its draft EIR. The City of Santa Barbara would experience the greatest number of significantly impacted intersections. According to Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG) correspondence, local agencies tally the cost of improving some of the intersections to accommodate project impacts at $110M. Judge Anderle ruled that the EIR’s flawed analysis of traffic impacts was “an abdication of Caltrans’ responsibility.” His ruling explained that, in applying a flawed analysis that “categorically ignored potentially significant intersection impacts and designated them “tradeoffs” for project benefits, Caltrans simply erased [the impacts] from existence, rather than truly evaluating intersection impacts”. The EIR “utterly failed in its informational function.” [Quotes from pages 34-35 of the “Excerpted Ruling”.]
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  • About

    Committees for Land, Air, Water and Species

    The mission of the Committees for Land, Air, Water and Species is to advocate in a broad array of social and environmental issues through issue-specific committees, to protect natural resources, quality of life and health for all residents, human or otherwise, of the Central Coast of California.

    The Committees for Land, Air, Water and Species, or CLAWS, is a California public benefit organization that was incorporated in September 2014.  


    CLAWS addresses a variety of community environmental and social justice concerns, acting through a series of committees focusing on specific topics or issues concerning Land, Air, Water, and Species

    CLAWS’ first Committee was the Transportation Futures Committee (Land), which serves as the lead petitioner in challenging the Highway 101 widening project and promoting sustainable and alternative transportation options in Santa Barbara County. The Transportation Futures Committee is a community advocate, supporting a close look at the environmental impacts and social consequences of widening Highway 101; in particular, its unmitigated significant environmental impacts, the pressure it will have to further widen other South Coast sections of Highway 101, and the consequences that its funding program will have upon our community’s ability to complete mitigation projects and continue to expand alternative transportation programs. 

    Transportation Future’s advocacy goal is to get Caltrans to acknowledge the project’s impacts, and to bring forward specific plans to respond to the Project’s significant impacts to 18 local intersections and new congestion bottlenecks on the main line of Highway 101. The 101 widening project jeopardizes priority programming of the train and alternative transportation programs that the community needs.  

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  • Latest from the blog

    SB County Active Transportation Plan

      CLAWS is proud to participate with the Santa Barbara County Active Transportation Plan  
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    Clean Air Act Gutted

    "Judicial Activism Kneecaps the #CleanAirAct" written by CLAWS counsel and #SantaBarbara environmental lawyer Marc Chytilo, in the @SBIndyNews  https://www.independent.com/2022/07/05/judicial-activism-kneecaps-the-clean-air-act/ #EPA #ClimateChange #JudicialActivism
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