The Mercury News, February 21, 2011

Palo Alto released an environmental report Thursday that acknowledges expansion of Stanford's hospitals will create seven "significant and unavoidable" impacts in surrounding Palo Alto and Menlo Park.

But at least the university and the city managed to offset three other significant impacts identified in an earlier, draft environmental report.

University and Palo Alto officials said the final environmental impact report is the product of a collaborative effort and represents a big step for the $3.5 billion project that would add 1.3 million square feet to the Stanford and Lucile Packard Children's hospitals, as well as the Stanford School of Medicine.

"This is a very major step in the whole process of reviewing the project," Mike Peterson, vice president of special projects for the hospitals, said in a phone interview. "We've been at it for four years and the release of the final version of the (environmental impact report) is a critical part of the (California Environmental Quality Act) process."

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