I cannot help but wonder if LaVarr Webb ("Local lawmakers should have final say on Legacy," Deseret News, Saturday, April 11) understands the purpose that federal lawmaking has in protecting entire regions from local governments that wish to make the same mistakes other regions have. His position that local lawmakers better know about our region's needs because of their proximity is a weak argument.

What our local lawmakers have decided in proposing route C for the Legacy Highway is merely an attempt to place the interests of developers and single occupant commuters above regional air qual-ity and one of the world's most important and unique wetland habitats for migratory shore birds. That the state's long-range planning foresees a continuation of an automobile-centered transportation system shows just how needful we are for more thoughtful planning that does not turn the Wasatch Front into another Los Angeles.Despite our aversion to the crowded living conditions and polluted air of California, Webb and others wish to take us down a path named "progress" now being abandoned by that state in favor of controlled growth and less dependence upon the automobile as the primary mode of transportation. If we fail to learn from the failures of California, we are doomed to breathe the same smog that the "progress" system brought there.

This is precisely the reason the EPA has had to step up its air quality standards in the first place. Technology will not save us either. Although low emission vehicles are coming out slowly, the zero emission vehicle standards coming soon in California have little hope of being accomplished given the size and weight of lead-acid batteries, which only changes the location of air pollution from the auto to the power station.

The Army Corps of Engineers should not only deny the petition of local leaders for route C because of the loss of wetlands, but should use its power to veto the whole concept of the Legacy Highway due to its duplicative nature to I-15.

William C. McGarvey

Salt Lake City