ORANGE COUNTY, CA – Today, Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley commented on Governor Gavin Newsom’s announcement of a $5 million award to the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) to assess potential realignment of the Los Angeles – San Diego – San Luis Obispo (LOSSAN) rail corridor that runs through the Fifth District and is vulnerable to impacts of coastal erosion and sea level rise. This investment succeeds Congressman Mike Levin’s request for $4 million.
“I appreciate Governor Gavin Newsom prioritizing funding for the Coastal Rail Corridor Relocation Study. We must look past temporary fixes. This study focuses on the long-term options for the portion of the LOSSAN Corridor at risk of falling into the ocean due to our eroding coastline in South Orange County,” said Supervisor Foley. “All levels of government must work collaboratively towards identifying and implementing long-term solutions to address the coastal erosion threatening our coastal economy, our national defense, our homes, and our quality of life.”
The study will assess existing and future risks, issues, and challenges surrounding a section of the LOSSAN Rail Corridor in south Orange County while taking federal, state, and local sustainability planning efforts into consideration.
The LOSSAN Rail Corridor is the second busiest intercity passenger rail corridor in the country and a designated national defense rail corridor within the Strategic Rail Corridor Network by the Department of Defense. The corridor sees more than 150 daily passenger trains and more than 70 freight trains per day.
Simultaneously, Supervisor Foley is working with Congressman Mike Levin to secure appropriations from the Army Corps of Engineers to replenish the beaches of South Orange County that border the LOSSAN Rail Corridor.
In the days following Supervisor Foley’s Sustainability Summit on September 29, 2022 (link), where topics including the future impacts of coastal erosion were discussed, Metrolink and Amtrak abruptly announced a suspension of service for South Orange County. At that time, Supervisor Foley called on OCTA to consider long term solutions for rail stabilization (link). This was followed up by an op-ed in the OC Register, titled ‘Coastal erosion is a threat to our Orange County way of life.’
Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley was elected to the Board of Supervisors in 2022 to represent the newly established District 5, which includes the cities of Aliso Viejo, Costa Mesa, Dana Point, a large portion of Irvine, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Newport Beach, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, as well as the unincorporated areas of Coto de Caza, Emerald Bay, Ladera Ranch, Las Flores, Rancho Mission Viejo, Stonecliffe and Wagon Wheel. This is her second term on the Board of Supervisors, where she previously served District 2.
Supervisor Foley’s Board appointments include the Orange County Fire Authority, Coastal Greenbelt Authority, Law Library Board of Trustees, Newport Bay and South Orange County Watershed Executive Committees, OC Public Libraries Advisory Board, Orange County Housing Finance Trust, Orange County Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council, Orange County Transportation Authority, and the Transportation Corridor Agency.