Our Legal Team Has Been Busy
10/17/12 Filed in: High-Speed Rail
On October 15, 2012, petitioners in the Atherton I and Atherton II cases filed their Appellants Opening Brief, challenging several elements of a largely favorable court ruling back in February. For the brief, and details, see this page.
Two days later, our team filed an Objection to the Authority’s Return on the Writ. This is a procedure in which the High-Speed Rail Authority, represented by the Attorney General’s office, is seeking to demonstrate that it has completed a series of actions ordered by the Court, back in February. The Authority claims that its April 2012 Partially Revised Final Program EIR complies with CEQA. Our Objection claims that the EIR violates CEQA because it refuses to analyze as an EIR alternative the Blended System described in the Revised 2012 Business Plan. For details, see this page.
The CHSRA has now attempted to certify four EIRs dealing with the connection between the Bay Area and the Central Valley. (2005, 2008, 2010 and 2012.) The Objection we filed, challenging the 2012 EIR, represents the third round of litigation! We call it Atherton III.
(The Authority had published a draft Statewide EIR in 2004 that did not study the Altamont route, claiming it failed to meet the Project’s Purpose and Need. The Authority backed down from that stance when it became clear that many organizations would sue to challenge the EIR. That’s why there was no litigation over the 2005 EIR.)
The Authority decided instead to pursue a separate EIR on the Bay Area connection, which was released as the 2008 EIR and became Round 1. This was Atherton I.