CHSRA Declares Independence from CEQA

CHSRA Declares Independence from CEQA 10/09/14 Filed in: High-Speed Rail In a move that screams desperation, the California High-Speed Rail Authority filed a petition with the federal Surface Transportation Board for a declaratory order that would prevent any California court from issuing an injunction to stop the construction of the Fresno-Bakersfield portion of the project. CHSRA wants to hide behind federal preemption. See this page. By running to the feds for protection, CHSRA has told the world it cannot and will not play by California rules. In an earlier move seeking to protect its claim to federal preemption of environmental laws, CHSRA asked the Supreme Court to depublish the appellate decision in Town of Atherton…

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New Papers from MTC Lawsuits

New Papers from MTC Lawsuits 09/30/14 Filed in: MTC TRANSDEF received the fruits of a Public Records Act request from MTC today. Legal papers from Bay Area Citizens v. MTC, including the Index to the nearly 57,000 page Administrative Record, and the settlement agreements in two other cases are posted at the bottom of this page. Tags: CEQA, RTP

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CHSRA Tries to Ditch CEQA

CHSRA Tries to Ditch CEQA 09/22/14 Filed in: High-Speed Rail After losing part of an appellate decision, the California High-Speed Rail Authority filed a request with the California Supreme Court today, asking it to depublish the 7/31/14 ruling. That would mean no other court could consider the ruling to be precedent, thereby making it easier to argue that CEQA doesn’t apply to railroad projects that are under the jurisdiction of the Federal Surface Transportation Board. All the papers are posted at the bottom of this page. Tags: HSR Litigation, CEQA, Preemption

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Plan Bay Area Court Decision Released

Plan Bay Area Court Decision Released 07/02/14 Filed in: Transportation Planning | Climate Change | MTC Alameda County Superior Court Judge Grillo issued a ruling today in the Bay Area Citizens v. ABAG challenge to Plan Bay Area. He denied their petition that sought a ruling that the EIR was inadequate. See the decision and the briefing at the bottom of this page. This page also contains the settlement between the MTC and Sierra Club and Communities for a Better Environment. Tags: CEQA, RTP, ARB

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Multiple Suits Challenge Plan Bay Area

Multiple Suits Challenge Plan Bay Area 09/01/13 Filed in: MTC | Transportation Planning | Climate Change Multiple lawsuits were filed, challenging the FEIR for the Bay Area’s regional plan under CEQA. Interestingly, they attack the plan from different directions: The Sierra Club/Communities for a Better Environment suit seeks a reduction in greenhouse gases and air pollution that affects communities of color in West Oakland. The “Bay Area Citizens” suit is a right-wing challenge to what it views as an assault on Americans’ God-given right to live in suburbs. The Building Industry Association suit makes interesting claims that have never been litigated: that the regional plan violates SB 375 by not providing for feasible levels of…

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HSRA seeks federal protection from lawsuits

HSRA seeks federal protection from lawsuits 08/09/13 Filed in: High-Speed Rail  The California High-Speed Rail Authority filed a brief today asking the State Court of Appeal to dismiss the Atherton petitioners’ appeal on the grounds that the federal Surface Transportation Board had asserted federal jurisdiction over its project. This brief involved a massive amount of gall, seeing as the High-Speed Rail Authority had not applied to the STB for permission to construct its project until very recently, long after all the briefing in this case had been filed. All materials related to the appeal are available here. Tags: CEQA, HSR Litigation

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TRANSDEF Comments on Plan Bay Area

TRANSDEF Comments on Plan Bay Area 05/15/13 Filed in: Transportation Planning | MTC | Climate Change TRANSDEF filed comments on the Bay Area’s Draft Sustainable Communities Strategy today. By a fascinating coincidence, U.S. PIRG released its study today, called A New Direction, which is directly relevant to how to approach a regional transportation plan. This study points out the transportation planning consequences of the emerging pattern of millennials driving less. These documents are available here. Tags: CEQA, RTP

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Our Legal Team Has Been Busy

Our Legal Team Has Been Busy 10/17/12 Filed in: High-Speed Rail Round 2 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. Round 3 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…

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HSRA Approves Pacheco Yet Again

HSRA Approves Pacheco Yet Again 04/19/12 Filed in: High-Speed Rail On April 19, in accordance with writs issued by the Sacramento Superior Court in response to litigation by TRANSDEF and its allies, the CA High-Speed Rail Authority rescinded its previous certification of the 2010 Revised Final Program EIR for the Bay Area to Central Valley portion of its HST project, and rescinded its approval of the Pacheco route. After that action, the Board certified a Partially Revised Final Program EIR and adopted the Pacheco route. While the result was the same as its 2010 action, this time was different. Authority…

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