2007 press release shows rail authority touting CEQA compliance

2007 press release shows rail authority touting CEQA compliance

ceqaA Tuesday afternoon AP story laid out the latest courtroom developments involving the bullet-train fiasco:

“SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California’s $68 billion bullet train project should be exempt from the state’s strict environmental review process now that it is subject to federal oversight, the state attorney general’s office argued Tuesday in a state appellate court. …

“If the judges agree the project is no longer subject to the California Environmental Quality Act, the state rail authority would be freed from a host of regulatory and procedural requirements that could slow construction. Opponents of the project would also lose one of their most significant legal tools. …

“Attorneys who argued against the state Tuesday characterized it as another legal ploy by the state in the disputed project for which voters approved selling nearly $10 billion in bonds in 2008.

“‘It’s clear that the voters were told that CEQA would apply,’ attorney Stuart Flashman told the judges. He also noted that the state Legislature, which approved selling bonds for the project, discussed the idea of exempting high-speed rail from CEQA several times but never did so.”

CEQA a guiding document for crucial initial plans

Not only were Californians assured that CEQA would apply before they approved Prop. 1A in 2008, environmental compliance was a central selling point. A Nov. 15, 2007, press release illustrates this:

“Authority staff presented recommendations for the route connecting Central Valley with the Bay Area — the final component to solidifying the statewide high-speed train route. … In accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the staff recommends the Pacheco Pass as the alignment that will attract the greatest number of riders with the least environmental impact … .

“The draft program EIR/EIS was made available to the public in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) … .”

One more insulting detail for the rail authority to ignore.

One more reminder of how this is, or should be, such an abject embarrassment for Jerry Brown.

One more file for the Grand Canyon-sized cabinet of examples of how the public sector routinely behaves in dishonest, irresponsible ways that would lead to SEC, FBI, NYT and LAT crusades if they happened in the private sector.



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