Courtesy of Redwood City Neighbors United
Redwood City Neighbors United (RCNU) continues to be concerned about the potential for bias and conflict of interest in the Cargill/DMB Saltworks environmental review process, after the by Redwood City Mayor Alicia Aguirre in response to RCNU’s letter to city officials and Op-Ed of last week.
“The Mayor’s statement doesn’t address the specific issue we raised in our letter – that by relying on reports written by Cargill/DMB consultants, the City’s environmental impact analysis may be inappropriately influenced,” RCNU Co-Chair Dan Ponti said. “The Mayor’s letter confirmed that ‘the City's consultants will use the information provided by DMB,’ which is precisely our concern.
"Studies that document current conditions on the site, characterize potential project impacts, or propose mitigations should not be in the control of the developer," he added. "While we are confident that the City will conduct a careful review and analysis of these studies, no amount of peer review can completely eliminate that potential for bias."
In the group’s , RCNU asked Redwood City to adopt procedures similar to numerous other cities in the Bay Area like San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara. These cities require that staff directly hire and oversee all of the consultants contributing to a development project’s environmental review.
"RCNU and the City share the same goals – we want the EIR that the City prepares for this project to be viewed by both project proponents and critics alike as both credible and fair," Ponti said. "Common sense policies like these will ensure a truly independent review process that the community and other agencies can confidently rely upon to make an informed decision.”
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