Ontario International

Liset Marquez and Joe Nelson, Staff Writers
Posted: 05/07/2013 11:00:57 AM PDT
Updated: 05/07/2013 09:49:23 PM PDT

Ontario and the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors will join Inglewood and Culver City in a legal battle over an environmental plan for LAX approved by the Los Angeles City Council last week.

The three cities and the county announced Tuesday that they are seeking legal mediation with Los Angeles over its approval of a $4.8 billion plan to modernize Los Angeles International Airport.

Officials believe the modernization program can further negatively impact LA/Ontario International Airport which has already seen a 40 percent drop in passenger traffic since 2007.

Los Angeles now has five days to either respond or deny the request. If the request for mediation is denied the four entities have 30 days to file a lawsuit.

“They have starved its satellite airport (ONT) to siphon traffic to LAX. They are extorting money under the auspice of the LA system to build up LAX,” said Ontario Councilman Jim Bowman.

The two-page report was filed by environmental attorney Barbara Lichman, representing the three cities and San Bernardino County.

The Alliance for a Regional Solution to Airport Congestion, a Westchester community group long opposed to the plan, filed a request asking for mediation on Friday. L.A. officials have five days to respond from that date.

Douglas Carstens, an attorney representing ARSAC, said he would be interested in joining efforts with the three other cities and the county.

“We share a number of concerns about regionalization and the lack thereof,” he said.

Inglewood, Culver City as well as ARSAC were involved in a 2006 settlement agreement in which LAWA agency agreed it would redistribute air traffic throughout the region to avoid a lawsuit. The three entities were concerned, among many reasons, about traffic and air quality impacts that could result if LAX is modernized.

Ontario was not involved in that agreement.

But the recent action speaks volumes to the amount of opposition there is to this plan.

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