Governor Signs Legislation Incorporating Climate Resiliency into LOSSAN Planning
SB 677 updates the LOSSAN Rail Corridor Agency annual planning requirements to identify effects of climate change and projects to increase resiliency
SACRAMENTO – Gov. Gavin Newsom on Saturday signed legislation by Sen. Catherine Blakespear, D-Encinitas, to require an assessment of the effects of climate change on the Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo (LOSSAN) Rail Corridor.
SB 677 directs the LOSSAN Rail Corridor Agency, which oversees the corridor in coordination with rail owners, operators and planning agencies, to include the assessment in its annual business plan that outlines the agency’s major goals and objectives. The assessment must also identify projects to increase climate resiliency and funding options for those projects.
“I thank Gov. Newsom for signing SB 677 and ensuring that the LOSSAN Rail Corridor Agency is responding to, and planning for, the challenges created by climate change,” Blakespear said.
“The LOSSAN rail line is vital to Southern California and we must take steps to protect it from sea-level rise, coastal erosion and the other effects of our changing climate.”
Blakespear is chair of the Senate Transportation Subcommittee on LOSSAN Rail Corridor Resiliency. The committee, which has held two hearings and has a third scheduled for November, was established earlier this year to study how to improve infrastructure and service along the 351-mile rail line.
The LOSSAN rail line serves six counties in Southern California with a population of approximately 20 million people and is crucial to the movement of freight and passengers through the region. The line is the second busiest intercity passenger rail corridor in the United States.
Over the past year, the rail line was closed to passenger service through San Clemente on multiple occasions for a total of nine months, due to hillside erosion jeopardizing the stability and safety of the tracks. Full service resumed in July after work was done to safeguard the tracks.
“As an inter-city rail service spanning 351-miles, much of which is coastal terrain, climate resiliency is crucial for ensuring safe and reliable operations of the Pacific Surfliner service,” said Jewel Edson, Chair of the LOSSAN Rail Corridor Agency Board of Directors. “We appreciate the support of Governor Newsom and Senator Blakespear in helping the LOSSAN Rail Corridor Agency coordinate and plan for the long-term sustainability of rail service.”
Elected in November 2022, Blakespear represents Senate District 38, which covers northern San Diego County and part of Orange County. To learn more about the district and Blakespear, visit her Senate website.