Another Day, Another HSR Business Plan: First Impressions

Another Day, Another HSR Business Plan: First Impressions 04/02/12 Filed in: High-Speed Rail Yes, the High-Speed Rail Authority did listen to comments on the last Plan, and yes, they actually did add several desirable elements to the Plan, but in the end, it is still a bad joke: “The key initial operating segment from the Central Valley to the Los Angeles Basis is fully funded.” (p. 7-25) This seemingly good news is new since the last Business Plan. But the punchline is that the newly identified fund source is $20.2 billion from the feds! How fully funded is that, given the current Congress? The Governor claims he can use cap and trade…

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Hospital Required to Mitigate GHGs

Hospital Required to Mitigate GHGs 03/28/12 Filed in: Climate Change TRANSDEF, along with fellow litigants the Sierra Club and the California Nurses Association, prevailed in a challenge to Sonoma County’s approval of a new Sutter Hospital on the fringe of Santa Rosa. They challenged the Environmental Impact Report as being inadequate in mitigating greenhouse gases, because of the site being totally auto-dependent. After several hearings and appearances before a judge, the County agreed to require Sutter Hospital to provide a shuttle to the hospital from the nearest SMART rail station. Sutter will also provide free bus and train passes to…

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Yet Another HSR DEIR

Yet Another HSR DEIR 02/21/12 Filed in: High-Speed Rail TRANSDEF, the Planning and Conservation League, the California Rail Foundation and the Community Coalition on High-Speed Rail filed  comments on the Partially Revised Draft EIR today. This is the HSR Authority’s third attempt to come up with a legally defensible EIR for the Bay Area to Central Valley portion of the Statewide HSR project. TRANSDEF and its allies, which include the cities of Atherton, Menlo Park, and Palo Alto, successfully challenged the previous EIRs. These comments propose an entirely new Altamont route, based on the Altamont Corridor Rail Project Preliminary Alternatives Analysis Report. (See an earlier Newsletter for an overview of this exciting project.)…

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Court Rules Again Against HSRA

Court Rules Again Against HSRA 11/10/11 Filed in: High-Speed Rail On Thursday, November 10, Judge Michael Kenny of the Sacramento Superior Court released a pair of decisions 38 and 40 pages long, invalidating the Environmental Impact Report for the Central Valley to Bay Area section of the California High-Speed Rail project–for the second time. The Judge found that the California High-Speed Rail Authority had failed to adequately address a series of challenges raised by the Petitioners, comprised of the Town of Atherton, the City of Menlo Park, the City of Palo Alto, the California Rail Foundation, the Transportation Solutions Defense…

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Round 2 in HSR Litigation

Round 2 in HSR Litigation 10/04/10 Filed in: High-Speed Rail A coalition of three cities, three environmental organizations, two citizens’ groups and a taxpayer today filed suit challenging the Environmental Impact Report for the high-speed rail connection between the Central Valley and the Bay Area.  The report was issued by the California High-Speed Rail Authority, which is responsible for planning a  statewide high-speed rail system. Five of the parties had challenged the previous version of the report, resulting in the court throwing it out and ordering it rewritten. The cities of Palo Alto, Menlo Park, and Atherton joined the California Rail Foundation, the Transportation Solutions Defense and Education Fund and the Planning and Conservation…

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Statewide CEQA Guidelines Revisions

Statewide CEQA Guidelines Revisions 11/15/09 Filed in: Climate Change In response to SB 97 and AB 32, the California Resources Agency has been revising the Guidelines under which the California Environmental Quality Act is implemented. These revisions call for the analysis of greenhouse gas emissions as part of standard environmental review under CEQA, including the analysis of the impacts of the emissions and their mitigation. Check out their website. Tags: CEQA

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Comments Filed on Sonoma Transportation Plan

Comments Filed on Sonoma Transportation Plan 06/22/09 Filed in: Climate Change | Transportation Planning TRANSDEF filed comments on the Draft EIR for the Sonoma County Transportation Authority’s Comprehensive Transportation Plan. Despite the innovative aspects of the Plan, the fact that it projects a 26% increase in Vehicle Miles Travelled indicates that it is still an auto-oriented Business-As-Usual plan. The comment letter provides a comprehensive approach to reducing VMT and GHGs. Tags: Sonoma, CEQA

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