Learn About the California Mobility Center Dec 9

Please join ECOS’ Transportation, Air Quality & Climate Change (TAQCC) Committee for its regular monthly meeting, on Thursday, December 9th. Details about joining this meeting using “Zoom” are provided below.

Our featured speaker will be Mark Rawson, Chief Operating Officer of the California Mobility Center, which was officially launched in March 2021. CMC is a nonprofit, public-private business acceleration hub that aspires to become a leading global innovation and commercialization center and to set the pace in electric mobility. Its headquarters will be located at The Hub: Sacramento State Research Park, located southeast of Sac State on the other side of Highway 50, and its Board includes representatives from Sac State, SMUD, Microsoft, UC Davis, and other prominent organizations.

The balance of the meeting will be devoted to updates on other active issues: the proposed citizens intiiatve to put a Sacramento County transportation tax on the November 2022 ballot, Sacramento County and City Climate Action Plans, Sacramento City Transportation Priorities Plan, the proposed expansion of the CapCity bridge over the American River, and other topics you may raise.

Note: This is the final meeting of TAQCC as presently constituted, since it will be folded into a new Climate Change Committee in the restructuring of ECOS committees. The initial meeting of the Climate Change Comittee will be the first Thursday in January, the same time and date previously scheduled for TAQCC.

When: Thursday, December 9th, 2021 at 6 pm
Where: Videoconference, hosted by Zoom
Link to join TAQCC Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85805612058
To phone in: 1-669 900 6833, Meeting ID: 858 0561 2058

City of Sacramento Climate Action Update

On October 12, 2021, the Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS) submitted our comments on City Council October 12, 2021 Agenda Item 23 – Climate Action Update Summary, City of Sacramento Draft Climate Action and Adaptation Plan, Sept 2021.

Click here to read our letter in full.

Hospital Construction near Stone Lakes Refuge Stopped

By Nancy Hughett, ECOS Board Member | July 2021

A coalition of environmental and community groups applying pressure on Elk Grove decision-makers was instrumental in stopping the construction of a 13-story hospital with helipad next to a sensitive habitat area. While California Northstate University (CNU) previously proposed building the hospital at the edge of the Stone Lakes National Refuge, it recently announced its relocation to the Sleep Train Arena in North Natomas (June 16, 2021).

The coalition, including ECOS’ Habitat 2020, the Audubon Society, Sierra Club and the Friends of Stone Lakes, met with Elk Grove Planning Commissioners. Coalition members expressed concerns about noise, light pollution and construction activity that would harm refuge wildlife such as Swainson’s Hawks, Sandhill Cranes and Burrowing Owls, particularly during roosting periods. In addition, helicopter flights and the massive hospital building itself would pose a danger for bird strikes; helicopter-bird strikes could also lead to loss of human life. The Stone Lakes Refuge sits within the Pacific Flyway, a major North American migration route for birds.

The environmental coalition, along with neighbors, also argued that placing a level 2 trauma center hospital in a 200-year flood plain despite existing city prohibitions would be a very bad idea. (Additionally, flooding could increase due to climate-induced sea level rise and possible atmospheric river events.) This issue proved to be a major factor in Elk Grove Planning Commissioners’ 5-0 recommendation to deny the project. The project’s proponents subsequently elected to seek other sites for their hospital.

An incidental wetlands and habitat area has developed at the Sleep Train Arena site in the excavated area for a failed baseball stadium; the pond is surrounded by mature trees and has become a resource for wildlife, including many bird species. ECOS’ Habitat 2020 Committee is drafting a letter to support its protection.