State of California received an approval from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to assume its federal environmental review responsibilities under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and other federal environmental laws.
This allows California High-Speed Rail Authority to move forward with the completion of the environmental reviews, as per the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grant agreement, for the entire first phase of the high-speed rail programme from San Francisco to the Los Angeles area.
“The ability for us to conduct this environmental review and move the project forward will enable momentum and continued progress on this transformative mobility project. We commend the FRA for taking this much-needed action,”said California State Transportation Agency Secretary, David Kim.
With NEPA assignment, the authority will approve environmental documents for the high-speed rail programme, as the state already has authority to do for highway projects, while continuing to perform its lead agency responsibilities under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). This will allow the authority to continue construction progress in the Central Valley, and finalize route decisions throughout the state, while at the same time meeting its federal grant commitments and maintaining critical environmental protections.