Atherton III

HSR Litigation, Round 3

TRANSDEF, Planning and Conservation League, California Rail Foundation and the Community Coalition on High-Speed Rail filed comments on the Partially Revised Draft EIR in February 2012. These comments proposed an entirely new Altamont route, based on the Altamont Corridor Rail Project Preliminary Alternatives Analysis Report (note: 34 Mb file). See Newsletter for an overview of the Altamont Corridor Rail Project. By avoiding the environmental impacts identified in earlier DEIRs, this alternative was expected to be evaluated as environmentally superior to the Pacheco route.

Comment on the Draft EIR, with the following attachments:

  • First Peer Review Group Report
  • Second Peer Review Report Report
  • Blended System Proposal
  • Altamont Corridor EIR/EIS Scoping Comments
  • Capacity Analysis Preliminary Findings Presentation
  • Draft Blended Operations Analysis

Comment on the Draft EIR (no attachments)

Comment on the Final EIR

CC-HSR Comment Letter

On April 19, 2012, the High-Speed Rail Authority Board rescinded the certification of the previous Revised Final Program EIR, known as the RFPEIR, and then certified a Partially Revised Final Program EIR (PRFPEIR) and reapproved the selection of the Pacheco Alignment.

The High-Speed Rail Authority filed its Return on the Writ, explaining to the Court that it had complied with the previous Writs.

On October 17, 2012, the Atherton litigants filed their Opposition to the Return on the Writ, creating a proceeding known as Atherton III. Litigants objected to the PRFPEIR’s refusal to consider the Blended System on the Peninsula as a formal EIR alternative, even though it offered lower impacts than the four-track full build system that the Authority insisted was its project. The Authority’s Revised 2012 Business Plan adopted a blended approach and discussed a full build system only “If required.” The Opposition brief argues that the Authority is impermissibly proceeding with two different projects.

The Authority filed its Reply Brief. A Supplemental Brief was filed by Petitioners. The Court issued its decision on February 25, 2013, overruling Petitioners’ Opposition and discharging the writs. Now that the EIR’s certification has been approved by the Court, the decision selecting the Pacheco alignment is reinstated. This Atherton III litigation has now reached an end.

An appeal is still pending on Atherton II.

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