The American Council of Engineering Companies, California (ACEC California) today welcomed the timely release of the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) covering the Fresno to Bakersfield section of the proposed high speed rail system and also encouraged Governor Jerry Brown to reintroduce his proposal aimed at protecting the rail project from delaying tactics caused by abuse of the CEQA process.
“On July 6, through a historic vote, California legislators proved the state’s leadership and eagerness to move forward and create the first high-speed rail system in the nation. This week’s release of the EIR for the Fresno to Bakersfield section marks an important milestone in moving the project forward and creating a clear path towards improving California’s transportation infrastructure,” said Paul Meyer, executive director of ACEC California.
Meyer added that even though the project is essential to the state’s future livelihood, the state is taking the necessary steps to make sure the vital project conforms to environmental requirements by following the EIR process to the letter. “We have full faith in the EIR process and we encourage Governor Brown to bring back his proposal to protect the high speed rail from frivolous litigation and abuses of the CEQA process by litigants seeking to slow down this vital project,” Meyer said. “The state’s business, labor, transportation and construction industries are poised to get to work, especially in the state’s Central Valley, which has unemployment rates as high as 15%. The huge number of jobs – 100,000 expected – will not only improve the lives of thousands of Californians and improve the economy now, but the tax revenues generated by new jobs will be help bolster California’s finances,” Meyer concluded.