The authority overseeing California’s high speed rail project is asking for environmental exemptions for the first 130 mile leg.
The Associated Press reports that High Speed Rail Authority Chairman Dan Richards told a state Senate hearing that the exemption would prevent any legal delays.
Agricultural interests have been gearing up for a court fight, so this could avoid an injunction. The AP says that Richard had previously stated that the authority would not seek an outright exemption from state or federal environmental laws.
California’s high-speed rail chief says he’s seeking environmental exemptions on the first 130-mile leg of the bullet train in the San Joaquin Valley. California High-Speed Rail Authority chairman Dan Richard said during a Tuesday state Senate hearing that the exemption would avoid any legal delays caused by an injunction, a possibility as agriculture interests gear up for a court fight. Richard had previously insisted the authority would not seek an outright exemption from state or federal environmental laws.
California is seeking to fast track the project, as it risks losing federal funding if the first leg is not completed by 2017