Appeals Court Upholds Pacheco Route EIR
Anti-HSR activists lost another lawsuit today when the Third District Court of Appeals upheld the Pacheco Pass route EIR:
The Third District Court of Appeals in Sacramento heard an appeal from San Francisco Bay Area cities arguing that a planned path through Pacheco Pass hurts the environment.
The state argued the project was exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act because it is overseen by the federal Surface Transportation Board.
The court upheld the environmental review but also said the project must still abide by state environmental rules.
“Today’s court ruling reaffirms our successful compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act,” Lisa Marie Alley, a spokeswoman for the California High-Speed Rail Authority, said in a written statement.
This is good news, as the Pacheco route always made plenty of environmental sense. It’s not any better or worse than the Altamont route in that respect, especially when you consider that an Altamont alignment would also have impacts to neighbors and open space.
Typically, the NIMBYs and anti-HSR forces who brought the suit were quoted in the article pledging to continue to obstruct the project by any means possible. But hopefully this decision will be another sign that the HSR project is finally overcoming many of the obstacles placed in its path, and the nuisance suits filed by project opponents will begin to fade away.
One can always hope.