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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  1. Robert S. Allen
    Robert S. Allen 21 May, 2014, 10:10

    Don’t squander HSR money on Caltrain. Stop HSR instead at San Jose, with easy transfers there to Caltrain, Capitol Corridor, and the planned Silicon Valley BART. Better, safer, more reliable, and far cheaper.

    Later upgrade Amtrak from San Jose to Sacramento, with a transfer station in Oakland at the BART overpass. 6 minutes from Embarcadero with a train every 4 minutes.

    “Safe, Reliable” HSR (per Title to 2008 Prop 1A) demands a secure, grade-separated trackway. Caltrain has dozens of grade crossings and many points of public access; it is not suited for HSR.

    Reply this comment
  2. David Wiltsee
    David Wiltsee 21 May, 2014, 13:07

    It has become disturbingly apparent that pragmatic Governor Brown places himself and his legacy programs above the law.

    “The end justifies the means” is the unspoken motto for high speed rail, massive water transfers, the questionable fire tax on rural properties, and numerous attempts to sidestep established environmental protections. In the process, honesty and transparency have taken a back seat, as witness the administration’s handling of the scandal-ridden Bay Bridge fiasco unveiled by the Sacramento Bee.

    If this doesn’t bother you, Ms and Mr California, well, maybe it should — regardless of your political persuasion. It’s all too reminiscent of another notable Californian, one who occupied the White House about 40 years ago. His legacy seemed secure until scuttled by his minions’ dirty tricks.

    When all is said and done, we are and will remain a “government of laws, not of men”. How many leaders must learn the hard way?

    Reply this comment
  3. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 22 May, 2014, 00:45

    How this SCAM is still alive is just shocking.

    Reply this comment

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