Oral Argument Scheduled

Oral argument in our challenge to the Surface Transportation Board’s Declaratory Order that preempts CEQA actions from challenging the HSR project, will be heard April 18th, at the Ninth Circuit Courthouse, 95 Seventh Street, San Francisco. The session starts at 9:30 AM in Courtroom #3.

Protecting Niles Canyon

TRANSDEF submitted comments today on Caltrans’ proposal to replace the 89 year-old bridge over Alameda Creek on SR 84, to allow higher speeds “to meet driver expectations.” i

Hearing in ARB Case March 17

TRANSDEF’s challenge to the Air Resources Board’s inclusion of HSR in its 2014 Scoping Plan as a GHG emissions reduction measure is now fully briefed (see bottom of page for briefs). A hearing is scheduled for March 17, 2017 at 10:00 am in Department 24, Sacramento Superior Court.

TRANSDEF has submitted
numerous comments to ARB on its 2017 Climate Change Scoping Plan, which is scheduled for approval in April 2017.

CA is not Serious about VMT Reduction

TRANSDEF’s organizational focus is the reduction of GHG emissions from transportation. Much of our work has involved the state’s policy-setting agency for climate change, the California Air Resources Board, or ARB. ARB has produced generally excellent climate change plans, called Scoping Plans. However, it has consistently been weak in the area of reducing GHG emissions from transportation, despite determining that nearly half of the state’s GHG emissions are generated by the transportation sector. Read More...

Briefing Continues in ARB case

TRANSDEF filed its Opening Brief in its challenge to ARB’s inclusion of HSR in its 2014 Scoping Plan. It’s been a long hard slog since we filed the case back in 2014, but things will move more quickly now. See this page for a copy of the brief, for ARB’s Opposition Brief, and for a description of the case’s complicated history over the past two years. Here’s the Brief’s Conclusion: Read More...

Allies Challenge AB 1899's Constitutionality

Five individuals, three non-profit organizations, the Town of Atherton and Kings County amended their lawsuit today, seeking a ruling that the California High-Speed Rail Authority's (CHSRA) efforts to obtain construction funding from a voter-approved bond measure violate the state constitution. The case is the second one filed as Tos v. California High-Speed Rail Authority, or Tos II. Legal papers are available here.

The Third District Court of Appeal had previously ruled that Prop. 1A, the 2008 $9.9 billion high-speed rail bond measure, created a "financial straitjacket" restricting the use of the bond funds. Plaintiffs allege in their suit that the Legislature's passage of AB 1889 created a tool that attempts to evade the bond measure's restrictions.

However, because AB 1889 fundamentally alters that voter-approved measure, plaintiffs allege it is unconstitutional, as are the funding plans that rely on it. Newly added as a plaintiff is retired judge and former CHSRA Chair Quentin Kopp, who helped write Prop. 1A and has joined the case to defend that measure as the voters approved it.
Read More...