Disappointment in ARB Case

Disappointment in ARB Case 05/15/17 Filed in: High-Speed Rail | Climate Change After three years of hard work, TRANSDEF’s challenge to the California Air Resources Board’s adoption of its 2014 Scoping Plan was rejected today by the Court. Disappointingly, the decision was based purely on the technical, procedural objections brought by ARB. ARB never defended its decision to include a GHG-increasing measure in a plan intended to reduce GHGs. In oral argument, TRANSDEF’s attorney, Stuart Flashman, proposed a new way to look at CEQA GHG impacts–one that we have not heard being used before: Because of the global climate change…

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Change in Plans: Big Fireworks in Court April 18 & 19

Change in Plans: Big Fireworks in Court April 18 & 19 04/17/17 Filed in: High-Speed Rail All the briefs have now been filed in Tos II, a legal challenge to the constitutionality of AB 1889, the 2016 law that the High-Speed Rail Authority is relying on to claim eligibility for Proposition 1A bond funds for construction of its Central Valley segment. The hearing scheduled for Tuesday, April 18, at 9:00 in Department 54 in Sacramento Superior Court (in the Hall of Justice on 6th St., which is separate from the court complex), and the hearing scheduled for April 19 at 11:00…

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ARB Scoping Plan Comments Filed

ARB Scoping Plan Comments Filed 04/10/17 Filed in: Climate Change | Transportation Planning | High-Speed Rail The Air Resources Board produces a Scoping Plan every 5 years. It is the guiding document for the GHG emissions reductions needed to implement  California’s climate policy. TRANSDEF submitted a massive comment set, made up of: 1). General Comments; 2). VMT Reduction Comments, Attachment: Comments on State-wide Strategies; 3). Environmental Assessment Comments, Attachment: Comments on CHSRA 2016 Business Plan; and 4). Comments on Regional Emissions Reduction Targets. For more climate change resources, see this page. Tags: Highway Widening, HOT, HOV, CEQA, Carbon Tax, Induced Demand

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Oral Argument Scheduled

Oral Argument Scheduled 04/04/17 Filed in: High-Speed Rail Oral argument in our challenge to the Surface Transportation Board’s Declaratory Order that preempts CEQA actions from challenging the HSR project, is being rescheduled to June or July. A hearing will not be held on April 18. Tags: Preemption, CEQA, STB

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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: TRANSDEF does not oppose, and indeed strongly supports, almost all of the Updated Scoping Plan; but TRANSDEF opposes inserting a measure into the Scoping Plan that does not and cannot meet the…

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Allies Challenge AB 1899’s Constitutionality

Allies Challenge AB 1899’s Constitutionality 01/31/17 Filed in: High-Speed Rail 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…

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Multiple Groups File Opposition to AB 1899

Multiple Groups File Opposition to AB 1899 06/27/16 Filed in: High-Speed Rail Today, a group of organizations have united in a letter opposing AB 1889, the attempted grab of Prop. 1A bond funds. They are: TRANSDEF, the Train Riders Association of California, Preserve Our Heritage, Citizens for California High Speed Rail Accountability and the  Community Coalition on High-Speed Rail. In an attempt to evade the requirements of Proposition 1A, the HSR Bond Act, Caltrain has sponsored AB 1889. The bill would give CHSRA full discretion to declare that a rail corridor or segment is HSR-ready. This is a big deal for Caltrain, because its electrification project cannot qualify for $700+ million in…

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Caltrain Electrification Suit Fully Briefed

Caltrain Electrification Suit Fully Briefed 05/23/16 Filed in: High-Speed Rail | Transportation Planning The challenge to Caltrain’s Electrification EIR is now fully briefed. (See bottom of page.) Petitioners assert that the electrification project is really the first phase of the HSR Blended System on the Peninsula, making the EIR an impermissibly chopped study of the project’s overall impacts. A hearing has been scheduled for 9 AM, September 2, 2016 in Contra Costa Superior Court. Tags: HSR Litigation, CEQA, Caltrain

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CEQA Preemption Appeal Fully Briefed

CEQA Preemption Appeal Fully Briefed 05/18/16 Filed in: High-Speed Rail The appeal of the CEQA Preemption Order by the federal Surface Transportation Board for California HSR is now fully briefed. Oral argument has not yet been scheduled. The briefs are all posted on the STB page. Tags: CEQA, Preemption, HSR Litigation, STB

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Press Coverage of HSR Hearing

Press Coverage of HSR Hearing 02/15/16 Filed in: High-Speed Rail The hearing on the Tos Part II challenge to CHSRA compliance with the requirements of Proposition 1A was held on February 11, 2016. For a listing of the press generated by the hearing, see the bottom of this page. Tags: HSR Litigation

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