Description: Challenge to approval of 114-mile segment of the California high-speed train project.
County of Kings v. California High-Speed Rail Authority
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 07/05/2014 Petition for Writ of Mandate Download Petition for writ of mandate filed. Petitioners challenged the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s approval of the 114- mile Fresno-to-Bakersfield section of California’s high-speed train project. The lawsuit, filed in California Superior Court, alleged violations of CEQA; California’s anti- discrimination law; the Williamson Act, which protects agricultural lands; and Proposition 1A, which authorized funding for the high-speed rail project. Petitioners contest the adequacy of the CEQA review in a number of impact areas. Their climate change-related claims included that the environmental impact report (EIR) should have been recirculated because the final EIR substantially reduced the anticipated greenhouse gas reduction benefits (a response to comments suggesting that the agency had failed to take improved fuel economy into account). Petitioners also alleged that emissions associated with the production of materials—concrete, in particular— used for construction of the section would offset twenty to thirty years of the section’s purported greenhouse gas reduction benefits. Other lawsuits have been filed challenging the project: Coffee-Brimhall LLC v. California High-Speed Rail Authority, No. 2014-80001859 (Cal. Super. Ct., filed June 5, 2014), and City of Bakersfield v. California High-Speed Rail Authority, No. 2014-80001866 (Cal. Super. Ct., filed June 5, 2014); County of Kern vs. California High Speed Rail Authority, No. 2014-80001863. (Cal. Super. Ct., filed June 6, 2014); First Free Baptist Church of Bakersfield vs. California High Speed Rail Authority, No. 2014-80001864 (Cal. Super. Ct., filed June 6, 2014), and Dignity Health vs. California High-Speed Rail Authority, No. 2014- 80001865 (Cal. Super. Ct., filed June 6, 2014).