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Preserving and Protecting Our Past

While Metro builds the next LA, we also believe in conserving and preserving the past and LA’s unique natural ecosystem. The Environmental Compliance and Sustainability Department (ECSD) takes a leading role in preserving the natural, historical and cultural artifacts found during construction and infrastructure development:

Protection of cultural and historical resources: When an artifact is discovered during construction, the environmental lead ensures the right experts are on-site to properly handle, document, remove, research, and preserve finds.  Those of significance are then given to the appropriate local museum or agency to be included in collections, many of which are later put on display and used for research.

Excavation along Purple Line Extension, Section 1 In December 2016, a three-foot segment of tusk was uncovered along Purple Line Extension, Section 1. Just a few days later, an elephant skull was uncovered. In each case, Metro’s archeo-paleo team was called, excavation work was diverted to another part of the work site, and the finds were properly recovered for preservation and restoration.

For more information on this and more finds, read the whole story in the 2017 Energy and Resource Report or visit Metro’s capital project pages.

Plant removal:

As part of Metro’s waste diversion priority, plants removed during construction are either moved and planted until they can be returned as part of new landscaping or are donated to community destinations following all regulations.

Bee relocation:

Metro has moved six hives and more than a quarter-million bees from its properties. Rescued bees are observed for temperament, then relocated following strict guidelines. Metro is happy to do our part to protect our local bee population .

Noise and vibration monitoring:

With over 40 historic buildings along the Purple Line Extension and 14 adjacent to Regional Connector, special measures are taken to monitor and protect structural integrity due to construction vibration.

Maintaining natural processes:

Tar still flows under LA. In the process of building rail tunnels, this tar has to go somewhere. ECSD works with other Metro departments to maintain natural processes of the region, creating new technologies and specialized equipment to improve systems for community safety.

Site Remediation:

ECSD provides site remediation support for Metro-owned properties including: groundwater contamination and remediation, soil remediation and removal, and lead/asbestos analysis and abatement.